Panthers Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Ohio Valley Conference

Past Conferences: Mid-Continent Conference, Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

City: Charleston, Illinois

Arena: Lantz Arena

NCAA Tournaments: 2 (1992, 2001)


  • National Championships – 0
  • Conference Titles – 0

Eastern Illinois Panthers Team History

The Eastern Illinois Panthers have been playing basketball since the 1908-09 season. J.C. Brown coached the team for two years and then Charles Lantz took over the team in 1911-12 after the team sat out the previous year. Lantz, who the team’s arena is named after, stayed on as coach through the 1934-35 season. The Panthers then has several coaches before Lantz came back for the 1943-44 season.

Eastern Illinois enjoyed a great deal of success under coach Bill Healey, who took over the program in 1946 and stayed through the 1952-53 season. The Panthers appeared in five NAIA Tournaments under his guidance and captured four straight Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1950-53.

Robert Carey took over the Panthers in 1953-54, getting the team the conference title in 1954 and its final NAIA Tournament appearance in 1957. After a few lean years, Eastern Illinois was about to go on another successful run, this time led by coach Don Eddy, who became the coach for the 1968-69 season. The Panthers appeared in six straight NCAA Div. II Tournaments between 1975 and 1980, winning the third-place game on two occasions.

The Panthers joined Division I for the 1981-82 season, becoming a member of the Mid-Continent Conference the following season. The jump didn’t hurt Eastern Illinois too badly, with the team posting winning records in four of its first Division I seasons, but it wasn’t until 1992 that the Panthers appeared in their first NCAA Tournament.

Eastern Illinois jumped over to the Ohio Valley Conference for the 1996-97 season and won the conference tournament in 2001 for its second NCAA Tournament appearance. The Panthers have made one more postseason appearance since then, competing in the 2015 Postseason Tournament.

Eastern Illinois Panthers All-Time Records

Points Scored

  • Henry Domercant, 2,602
  • Jay Taylor, 1,926
  • Kyle Hill, 1819


  • Kevin Duckworth, 867
  • Bob Rickett, 828
  • Henry Domercant, 798


  • Terrell Lewis, 506
  • Johnny Hernandez, 415
  • Derrick Scott, 347

Eastern Illinois Panthers FAQS

How many Eastern Illinois players have gone on to play in the NBA?

The Panthers have sent three players to the NBA, Alfonzo McKinnie, Jay Taylor and Kevin Duckworth. Duckworth enjoyed the most success of the three, playing 11 seasons and finishing with an average of 11.82 points and 5.77 rebounds per game.

When did Eastern Illinois become the Panthers?

For many years, the school colors, Blue and Gray, were used for the school’s sports team’s name. In 1930, the student newspaper thought the school should have an official nickname. A contest was held and on Oct. 16, 1930, Panthers was announced as the winner.

How many basketball jerseys have Eastern Illinois retired?

The Panthers have retired just two jerseys in the team’s 100-plus-year history. On Sept. 14, 1991, Eastern Illinois retired the No. 00 worn by Kevin Duckworth. Then on Feb. 16, 2013, the No. 44 of Henry Domercant.


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