- For information on all Illinois State University sports, see Illinois State Redbirds
The Illinois State Redbirds football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the Illinois State University located in the U.S. state of Illinois. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The school's first football team was fielded in 1887. The team plays its home games at the 9,500 seat Hancock Stadium. They are coached by Brock Spack.
The Mid-America Classic is the rivalry game between the Illinois State and Eastern Illinois. The rivalry began in 1901 and is the oldest in the state of Illinois. The two teams have played 100 times in total, with Illinois State holding a 51-40-9 advantage in the all-time series. With the 100th game in the series on the horizon, representatives from both schools met in the spring and developed the Mid-America Classic re-naming for the rivalry. The two schools also collaborated on a traveling trophy, which holds plaques with the results of the previous 100 games in the series and has room for results of future games in the series.
Notable former players
Notable alumni include:
Missouri Valley Football Conference title: 1999
NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs: 1998, 1999, 2006, 2012
- The 1999 & 2006 the Midwest Region Championship (FCS Quarterfinal) was referred to as the Pecan Bowl
- In 1999 the Redbirds football advanced Final Four and receiving 3rd in the AP poll.
- Illinois State holds the NCAA Division I-AA record for the most tied football games with 66.