Illini inaugural hall of fame class includes, excludes some big names
The University of Illinois welcomed legendary athletes like Lou Boudreau, Dick Butkus, Harold "Red" Grange and George Halas to its inaugural hall of fame class recently.
Other famous Illini, including Kankakee High School graduate Harv Schmidt, longtime basketball coach Lou Henson and football star Bill Burrell didn't make the cut.
Schmidt is a 1954 graduate of Kankakee and played basketball for three years at Illinois. He averaged 12.3 points per game from 1954 to 1957, then returned in 1967 as the Illini’s men’s coach, a post he held until 1974. He posted an Illini career record of 89-77.
Henson coached the Illini for 21 years and ended his career with 423 wins -- 214 in the Big Ten Conference -- and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances; all of those are school records.
The 85-year-old Henson has a guaranteed induction next year.
Burrell was named Big Ten Conference MVP by the Chicago Tribune in 1959, winning the the Silver Trophy as a linebacker. He ranked fourth on the Heisman Trophy ballot the same year and was a consensus All-American.
Burrell was drafted by the NFL's Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Cardinals. He ultimately played in the Canadian Football League as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.