Since joining the Missouri Valley Conference in 1982, Illinois State Athletics has won its share of conference championships. The Redbird women’s golf team added to that total after capturing its league-record 10th conference title at the Lake Panorama National Resort in Panora, Iowa.

n addition to winning the team title with a three-day score of 921 (301-295-325), the Redbirds also left the event with the individual medalist honors after Stacey Miller carded a 225 for the event. Miller became the first Redbird to claim the league’s individual title since 2006, when Samantha Richdale won the event.

For the second straight season, ISU head women’s golf coach Darby Sligh was named the Valley Coach of the Year. With the team victory, the Redbirds have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament for the second straight season.

The victory by the women’s golf team won’t be the only celebration this spring for Redbird Athletics. The department officially dedicated the naming of the Marian Kneer Softball Stadium on April 25. In a pregame ceremony, prior to the noon softball game against Northern Iowa, Marian Kneer participated in this special event.

The Illinois State Baseball Stadium dedication will take place May 2 at Duffy Bass Field. Like at the Kneer naming event for softball, Illinois State President Al Bowman and Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger will both be on hand to participate in the ceremony. Board of Trustee Chair Michael McCuskey will also be on hand and will throw out the first pitch to officially dedicate the facility.

To help share these special events, along with all the progress of the ISU Athletics department, Redbird Athletics also announced the first two dates of the 2009 Spread the Red Caravan. The caravan will begin in Springfield, Ill., May 7. ISU Athletics will host an event from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Dublin Pub. Tickets are $10 per person, which includes appetizers and soft drinks.

The second stop on the caravan will be Joliet, Ill, on May 12. Prior to the Illinois State-Notre Dame baseball game at Silver Cross Field, ISU Athletics will host a pregame event in the leftfield picnic area. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and is $15 per person, which includes all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and soft drinks.

To reserve a place for either, or both, Spread the Red Caravans in Springfield and Joliet, please call the ISU Athletics Ticket Office at (309)438-8000.

In another caravan of sorts, the Illinois State University Athletics department also unveiled its official Facebook page over the weekend. It took only 60 hours for the page to acquire the first 500 fans. To follow Redbird Athletics on Facebook, visit and click on the Multimedia pull-down menu.