Northern Illinois University Press

Eastern Illinois Panthers Football

Dan Verdun Foreword by Bob Spoo

“Dan Verdun has written a remarkable book in bringing to life the unbelievable rise of EIU football to the national stage.” —Jim Edgar, former Illinois governor and EIU Class of 1968

“Winning my first Super Bowl was incredibly exciting. Believe me when I say I was just as excited when the 1978 Panther team won the National Championship!” —Ted Petersen, former EIU and Pittsburgh Steelers lineman

“EIU has become a top notch college program while doing things the right way and this book does an unbelievable job of capturing that journey.” —Jimmy Garoppolo, 2013 Walter Payton Award Winner

Eastern Illinois Panthers Football chronicles the legend and lore of this storied program, from the early days under coach and university-auditor-of-accounting Otis Caldwell, to today’s perennial Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse. Sports historian Dan Verdun sets down amazing details about EIU’s 15 FCS playoff appearances, 7 OVC championships, 3 NFL head coaches, 2 Walter Payton Award winners, and the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship.

Panther fans will recognize the names of Mike Shanahan, Darrell Mudra, Jeff Gossett, Sean Payton, Bob Spoo and Tony Romo, and many others. Dan Verdun tells these men’s stories from extensive research and personal interviews. Find out fascinating details about key players and coaches - how they arrived at EIU, what they accomplished in their time wearing the blue and gray, as well as the paths their lives took once they played their last game and graduation day arrived.

The greatest moments in EIU Panther football glory are recounted with fresh new insight. Read about the legendary days of quarterback Bill Glenn, who found success in the NFL of the 1940s. Relive the dominance and get the inside stories of the greatest teams in EIU football history. They’re all here: the 1978 NCAA Division-II national champions, the 1980 runner-ups, the quarterfinalist 1982, 1986, 1989, and 2013 teams along with the 1995 and 2001 conference champions and playoff qualifiers.

With far-ranging appeal, Eastern Illinois Panthers Football will interest those who identify as Panthers as well as sports fans who want to discover the merits of this fine football program. Focused on team members and their coaches over the entire history of EIU football, this book will inform and entertain all age groups.

Aug 2014 8.5x11 245 pages 100 b/w illus.
ISBN 978-0-87580-483-5
$39.95t Cloth

Dan Verdun is a sports journalist/historian and a middle school teacher in Naperville, IL. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history at Eastern Illinois University and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Northern Illinois University. He is author of Northern Illinois Huskies Football (Northern Illinois University Press, 2013).

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-483-5
cloth $39.95