The Orange and Blue runs deep in the Hoffman family

Group shot of J.P., J.R. Rose and Anthony Hoffman wearing orange and blue colors. “There’s so much tradition at Illinois,” says freshman Anthony Hoffman (far right). His brother J.P. (left) joins him on the University’s cheer team. They flank Mom and Dad—J.R. and Rose Hoffman. This group comprises four of the six members of the Hoffman family who root for the Illini. (Image courtesy of J.R. Hoffman)
The Orange and Blue runs deep in the Hoffman family

For the Hoffman family, cheering on the Illini is a family affair. At home football and basketball games,  you will find J.R. Hoffman, ’92 LAS, MD ’96 UIC, and Rose Hoffman, ’92 LAS, in the stands, not only cheering on their Alma Mater, but also cheering on the cheerleaders—their sons J.P. and Anthony who are members of the Fighting Illini cheer team.

Anthony, 18, a freshman in the College of Applied Health Sciences, refers to his parents and other Fighting Illini cheer team parents as “the cheerleaders of the cheerleaders.

“At the football games, we’re leading the cheers and it’s never really a guarantee that anyone will follow along,” he says. “But I know my mom will.”

Love for the Orange and Blue runs deep in the Hoffman family. Rose knew that Champaign was the place for her when she first stepped foot on campus. “I literally just fell in love with it,” she says. “This was absolutely the best choice for me.”

Rose met J.R. at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center. Graduating from Illinois in 1992, J.R. and Rose were married that December in the Newman Center chapel and then moved to Rockford, Ill., where J.R. completed medical school. Later, the couple moved to Indiana—first Evansville and then Jasper—where J.R. practiced family medicine for 13 years.

Even as Hoosiers, the Hoffmans stayed true to the Orange and Blue, and in 2012, they decided to move to Champaign.

Flash forward 11 years, and four of the couple’s six children—three boys, three girls—are Illini. Their second oldest daughter, Honor, was the first to attend Illinois and graduated from the College of Education in 2017. Their oldest son, Joe, graduated in 2022 from ACES.

J.P., a senior in Gies College of Business, started the family cheerleading tradition. During his junior year, he became friends with the current cheer team captain. Anthony followed in his footsteps.

The Hoffmans attend every home game to cheer on the Fighting Illini and their sons.

“Game days are fun,” J.R. says. “Our home began here. Now it is enjoyable to go as alumni, cheer parents and fans to just sit and soak it all in.”