Illini AD Thomas Noncommittal Toward Bruce Weber
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(WSCR) As the Illini basketball team continues to struggle, the fate of head coach Bruce Weber has come into question.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas joined The McNeil and Spiegel Show and didn’t exactly give his head basketball coach a vote of confidence.
“As I’ve always said, it’s no different than the other programs, including football with the situation we went through this past fall,” Thomas said. “I’ll assess the situation throughout the season. I’ll look at the total body of work. This is Bruce’s ninth year. At the end of this season, we’ll make the determination.”
LISTEN: Mike Thomas on The McNeil and Spiegel Show
Thomas did say that the remaining years and dollars on Weber’s contract won’t be a factor in his decision to fire or retain the head coach.
“The board of trustees, the central administration, they’ve been very supportive thus far, a great group of people to work with,” Thomas said. “They have the same goals and aspirations that I do as the director of athletics — winning at a high level, graduating our kids, being good ambassadors for this university and doing things the right way.”
Since he took over as AD last year, Thomas has already made his mark by firing head football coach Ron Zook after the 2011 season.
Thomas then hired former Toledo head coach Tim Beckman, who was somewhat of an underwhelming hire.
“I think it’s very easy to respond to that,” Thomas said. “When people ask that question or raise that as a concern, they really weren’t familiar with the process. I think those that were familiar with the process and know the due diligence that I went through wouldn’t say that I settled. I was very thorough and covered a pretty comprehensive landscape before I decided that Tim Beckman was the right person to run this football program.”