EDGY's Eastern Illinois Panthers Grade: C
Eastern Illinois and head coach Kim Dameron were able to sign 20 names in the Panthers' 2017 class, including five Illinois high school players. Eastern Illinois was able to fill in some depth at multiple positions with offensive line being a slight focus. The Panthers have been hovering slightly about the overall winning mark for the past few seasons. Hopefully this class, along with a veteran roster back in 2017, will help EIU get toward the top of the Ohio Valley and back into the FCS playoffs.
Headliner Of The In-State Class?
Eastern Illinois was able to bring in some solid names here, but from an upside/down-the-line-potential I'm a big fan of Phillips offensive linemen Johari Branch (6-foot-3, 295 pounds). Branch has terrific size, quickness and length and was impressive at various one-day camps this past summer. Belleville Althoff wide receiver/defensive back Edwyn Brown (6-foot-5, 180 pounds) might be one of the more intriguing names in this class. Brown has great size and length and could develop down the line and into a potential steal.
The One Who Got Away?
Eastern Illinois offered two terrific in-state recruits in Rochester wide receiver Avante Cox along with Belleville Althoff wide receiver C.J. Coldon. Both Cox and Coldon wound up signing with Wyoming.
Final Thoughts on the Eastern Illinois Panthers Recruiting Class:
Eastern Illinois was able to go out and bring in some in-state names to its 2017 class who have a chance down the road to become contributors. I would love to see EIU hit the high school/in-state numbers a bit harder, including seeing a better overall percentage of in-state signings. Yet the Panthers have been winning games and use their out-of-state recruiting connections, FBS and FCS transfers and incoming freshman names well so far under Dameron.
Despite the various issues, the Panthers have been competitive and playing winning football. EIU was actually off to a strong start in 2016, going 5-2 with wins over Miami of Ohio and Illinois State. EIU lost three of its last four games to end the year 6-5. With a deep and veteran roster returning in 2017, plus a solid 2017 class just signed, look for EIU to again challenge for an FCS playoff spot in 2017.
One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.
Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.
While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.
“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."
Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.
“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.
"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.
“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”
Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.
Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.
"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.
"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."
That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.
As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.
Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.
In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.