Thursday • October 28
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Season Finale
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Illini Football & Basketball Play-by-Play Voice Brian Barnhart joins Boz and Mr. G to recap Spring Football. Other guests will include Hall of Fame Journalist Taylor Bell, The Voice of the Illini Jim Sheppard, and Illini special teams Coach Mike Woodford.
Episode Segments:
 
Talking Illini 4/27/09 Hour One
The Voice of Illini Athletics Brian Barnhardt checks in with Boz & Mr. G to give his take on the football team from a talent standpoint, and the positive (and negative) things he sees on both sides of the ball. Then, Hall of Fame Journalist Taylor Bell gives his opinion on whats wrong with football in the state of Illinois, and comments on the Illini Football Program, recruiting, and the internet in general.
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Talking Illini 4/27/09 Hour Two
Longtime Illini PA Announcer Jim Sheppard talks about some of his favorite Illini memories. He talks about the coaches he worked with over his 22-year tenure . Then, Mike Woodford enters his third season on the Illinois coaching staff as the special teams coordinator, and he talks about what expects for this fall. He talks about possible starters for specific positions. Plus, Boz & Mr. G wrap up a wonderful season on Talkzone.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Brian Barnhart
Barnhart begins his sixth season as the "Voice of the Illini" after a long stint in professional baseball, including two years as the play-by-play voice of the Anaheim Angels. Barnhart serves as the voice of the Illini Sports Network, providing play-by-play coverage of football and men's basketball and as the host of the statewide "Ron Zook Show" call-in program every Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. A native of nearby Tolono, Barnhart graduated from Unity High School and Liberty University before beginning a 15-year career in professional baseball in 1986. He served as the play-by-play voice of the Lynchburg Mets and Salem Buccaneers before moving up to the Oklahoma City 89ers, the Class AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers, from 1988-94. Barnhart did high school football and other sport play-by-play for 11 years and was also the voice for Oklahoma Baptist basketball from 1992-94 and Oklahoma City Blazers minor league hockey in 1993. From 1996-98, he handled news, sports and play-by-play at WWLS in Oklahoma City. In 1998, Barnhart was named the play-by-play announcer for the Angels and spent two full seasons with the American League club before returning to the Champaign-Urbana area in 2000. He currently is a news and sports announcer at WDWS-AM 1400 in Champaign.



 
Taylor Bell
Taylor Bell has covered high school basketball in Illinois for more than 40 years, including every state tournament since 1959. In his first book, Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie, and Bobby Joe: High School Basketball in Illinois, published by University of Illinois Press in 2004, he documented the best teams, coaches, players, games, and events from the 1940s through the 1990s. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1971, and received the IBCA’s Buzzy O’Connor Award for contributions to the game in 2002. He was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, and received the Ring Lardner Award for excellence in print journalism in 2005.



 
Mike Woodford
Mike Woodford enters his second season on the Illinois coaching staff as the special teams coordinator. In addition to his special teams duties, Woodford works closely with the defensive backs. As special teams coordinator, Woodford tutored placekicker Jason Reda to the best season of his career. He broke the school's all-time scoring record with 267 points, while also finishing with 51 career field goals. Woodford's input with the defensive backs helped increase the total number of interceptions by the Illini from 10 in 2006 to 17 in 2007, and from eight by DBs in '06 to 14 last season. Safety Kevin Mitchell's five picks ranked third-best in the Big Ten and cornerback Vontae Davis' four interceptions were sixth in the league. In addition, Mitchell was second in the conference in passes defended and Davis sixth. Last season marked the fourth time Woodford and Head Coach Ron Zook have joined forces, as the pair also were part of the Kansas staff in 1983, the New Orleans Saints' staff in 2001 and during Zook's tenure as head coach at Florida, when they led the Gators to the 2002 and 2003 Outback Bowl. While at Kansas, the pair worked with Mike Gottfried, and Woodford also learned from such coaches as Larry Smith, Lou Holtz and Jim Haslett. A former walk-on safety at Arizona, Woodford became a starter for the Wildcats during his time in Tucson. He also was part of the Arizona team that played in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl. Woodford is a 1982 graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in history. He has two daughters, Michaela and Ellie

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