The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Spoo to make 25th season his last

He has been the face of the Eastern football program since 1987, and on Monday, Nov. 22 head coach Bob Spoo announced that he would retire at the conclusion of next season.

In a prepared statement, Spoo said he was honored to have been able to coach at one school for such a long time. Next season will mark Spoo’s 25th and final season as head coach.

Spoo, who has compiled 142 wins and nine Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances at Eastern, ranks fourth among NCAA Division I head coaches in longest time as head coach of one team.

“He has been the face of this program for many years and we are thrilled to have one more season to celebrate his success as our football coach,” said Barbara Burke, the athletic director.

In his statement, Spoo thanked numerous current and former players and coaches who have been with him during his time at Eastern, including 1995 Gateway Defensive Player of the Year Tim Carver.

Carver traveled from Iowa to attend the press conference.

Spoo said Carver was the type of player that portrayed Eastern football, and he thanked him for that.

Spoo, 73, has taken Eastern to nine FCS playoff appearances, which ranks fifth all-time. Spoo has 67 Ohio Valley Conference games, good for fourth in OVC history.

Dan Nadler, vice president of student affairs, said he is glad to have Spoo retire for a 25th season.

“Coach Spoo has long been identified with Eastern Illinois football and the university administration is pleased that a man of Coach Spoo’s character has decided to return,” Nadler said.

After Spoo made a statement, Burke said the administration would immediately begin working on planning for the future direction of the program.

“We felt that we needed to make this announcement at this time to silence any rumors that may surface about the future direction of our program,” Burke said.

The Panthers will open Spoo’s last season against Illinois State. Redbird head coach Brock Spack is a close friend of Spoo.

In the first four years of Spoo’s career, Spack was an assistant coach under Spoo for Eastern.

Eastern’s meeting against Illinois State will mark the 100th between the two schools.

Spoo will have coached one-fourth of the games between the two universities at the conclusion of his career next season.

Also, Eastern will play on the road against Northwestern next season. Spoo coached 12 years in Chicago at Loyola Academy and Fenwick High School.

When coaching at Loyola, Spoo was a 15-minute drive from Northwestern.

This season, Eastern was 2-9; however, over the past 10 seasons, Eastern has won five OVC championships and posted more wins than any other OVC program since 2000.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7944 or

[email protected]

Spoo to make 25th season his last

Spoo to make 25th season his last

Head football coach Bob Spoo rallies the team during a game against Jacksonville State Sept. 25, at O’Brien Field. (Danny Damiani

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