King Dad

King Dad

We Anoint a King Dad

During Dads Weekend, we select and honor the King Dad; students are invited to nominate their dads/dad figures and tell us why they think their dad/dad figures deserve to be King Dad for the weekend. Our board reviews all the nominations and chooses one deserving individual, who gets the royal treatment for the entire weekend, including a hotel room at the Union, breakfast with the Chancellor, luxury suite tickets to the football game with recognition on the field and on the Jumbotron during the game, tickets to all our events and swag.

The crowning of King Dad at halftime of the football game is a tradition that goes back to 1948. Honoring dads actually goes back to 1920, when a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity floated the idea that fathers of University of Illinois students be invited to visit campus during football season. The notion took hold and more than 2,000 dads took part in several activities and events, including a welcoming pep rally, an open house to attend Friday classes and an ROTC parade. In 1922, the Illini Dads Association was officially formed (the oldest known university parents organization in the nation)

Here's a list of our recent Dad's Day Weekend King Dad Winners

  • 2023 - Tom Mulchrone
  • 2022 - Ryan Jones
  • 2021 - Lou Laros
  • 2020 - Matthew Toole
  • 2019 - Jim Jones
  • 2018 - Morris Mosley
  • 2017 - Christopher Thilmany
  • 2016 - Qazi Salman
  • 2015 - Raul Ibarra
  • 2014 - Christopher Downes
  • 2013 - Jack McDermott
  • 2012 - Norman Pucci

Please Note: If there is more than one student per family, the multiple students from the same family will work together as a family to complete and submit a single Application and Essay for their Dad.

Deadline for Applications is October 15, 2024