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Western Illinois Leathernecks football

The Western Illinois Leathernecks football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Western Illinois University located in Macomb, Illinois.[2][3] The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.[4] The school's first football team was fielded in 1903. The team plays its home games at the 16,368 seat Hanson Field.

Western Illinois Leathernecks football
2019 Western Illinois Leathernecks football team
Western Illinois Leathernecks wordmark.svg
First season1903
Athletic directorDanielle Surprenant
Head coachJared Elliott
1st season, 5–6 (.455)
StadiumHanson Field
(Capacity: 16,368)
Field surfaceMatrix Turf
LocationMacomb, Illinois
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceMissouri Valley
All-time record509–438–38 (.536)
Bowl record2–1 (.667)
Playoff appearances10
Playoff record7–9 (Div. I FCS)
0–1 (Div. II)
Conference titles13
1939, 1942, 1949, 1958, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1981, 1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002
Consensus All-Americans59
ColorsPurple and Gold[1]
Fight songWe're Marching On
MascotColonel Rock (Live Bulldog), Rocky (Costumed Bulldog)
Marching bandWestern Illinois University Marching Leathernecks
Western Illinois Leathernecks



Conference affiliationsEdit


Conference championshipsEdit

Years Conference Overall Record Conference Record
1939 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 5–1–1 2–0–1
1942 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 5–0–2 3–0–1
1949 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 9–1–0 4–0
1958 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 6–1–1 5–1
1959 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 9–0–0 6–0
1964† IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 6–3–0 3–1
1969 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 8–2–0 3–0
1981† Mid-Continent 5–6 2–1
1988 Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference 10–2–0 6–0
1997 Gateway Football Conference 8–3 4–1
1998 Gateway Football Conference 11–2 6–0
2000 Gateway Football Conference 9–3 5–1
2002† Gateway Football Conference 11–2 6–1

† Co-championship

Playoffs and bowlsEdit


Season Result Classification
1973 First Round NCAA Division II Playoffs
1988 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1991 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1996 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1997 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
1998 Semifinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2000 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
2002 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2003 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2010 Second Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs
2015 Second Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs
2017 First Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs

*Note: Since 1981, the NCAA Division I-AA/Division I FCS Playoffs Regional Championships were commonly referred to as the Boardwalk Bowl (East Region Championship), Pecan Bowl (Midwest Region Championship), Grantland Rice Bowl (South Region Championship), and Camellia Bowl (West Region Championship).

Bowls gamesEdit

Season Bowl Opponent Result
1949 Corn Bowl Wheaton W 13–0
1953 Corn Bowl Iowa Wesleyan W 32–0
1955 Corn Bowl Luther L 20–24

Head coachesEdit

Years Name
1903 Unknown
1904 L.H. Laughlin
1905 A. Laughlin
1906, 1910 Oliver Dickerson
1907–1908 Coach Barnett
1909 Coach Taft
1911 Albert Walbrath
1912–1913 Unknown
1914 E.S. Dowell
1915 Unknown
1916–1917, 1919 Erskine Jay
1918 No team
1920–1921 W.A. Cleveland
1922–1925 Howard Hawkes
1926–1941 Ray Hanson
1942–1943 Wix Garner
1944 Bob Barnwell
1945–1947 Wix Garner
1948 Harold Ave
1949–1953 Vince DiFrancesca
1954–1956 Wes Stevens
1957–1959 Lou Saban
1960–1968 Art Dufelmeier
1969–1973 Darrell Mudra
1974–1975 Brodie Westen
1976–1978 Bill Shanahan
1979–1982 Pete Rodriguez
1983–1989 Bruce Craddock
1990–1998 Randy Ball
1999–2009 Don Patterson
2008–2012† Mark Hendrickson
2013–2015 Bob Nielson
2016–2017 Charlie Fisher
2018– Jared Elliott

† Acting head coach first seven games of 2008 season and last eight games of 2009 season.


Hanson FieldEdit

Hanson Field is a 16,368-seat multi-purpose stadium in Macomb, Illinois, USA.[5] The stadium which opened in 1950 is home to the Western Illinois Leathernecks football team and track and field team. The field is named after former WIU football coach/A.D. and Marine legend Rock Hanson. A unique feature of the facility is an extensive hillside that surrounds the field allowing for additional seating for thousands of spectators. Outside the stadium, a statue of former WIU track and field coach and two time Olympic gold medalist Lee Calhoun stands and a bulldog statue is located at the main entrance.

Highest-Scoring Game
On September 11, 2004, Western Illinois defeated Division II Cheyney State 98–7.

College Football Hall of Fame membersEdit

Notable former playersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Western Illinois Leathernecks Athletics 2017–18 Branding & Style Guidelines (PDF). July 11, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Western Illinois Athletics Leathernecks Football". Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  3. ^ "Western Illinois Leathernecks College Football Clubhouse". Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  4. ^ "Western Illinois Leathernecks". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
  5. ^ "Hanson Field". Retrieved 2015-01-12.

External linksEdit