There has long been an apparent gap between Chicago sports fans and the University of Illinois’ athletic programs and Illini Athletic Director Mike Thomas is determined to fix it.
When the Chicago Cubs, coming off their 104th year of championship futility topped by 101-loss cherry, probably inspire more hope and interest than your football program does, you know you have a problem.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said football coach Tim Beckman will return to coach the Fighting Illini next year, despite managing only two wins this year – none of them against Big Ten rivals.
Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag when he didn’t need to and the Houston Texans made him regret it.
Last week, I canvassed a swath of Illini Nation via Twitter and Facebook, asking for suggestions about how the state’s flagship school could better connect with fans – both existing and prospective ones – in the city.
Tim Beckman – if he lasts another season – is likely to get another win at some point, he might never get his first Big Ten one.
Down in Champaign, where these days things are far more blue than orange, the Fighting Illini football team is a woeful 2-5 in head coach Tim Beckman’s first season.
With Illinois licking its wounds at 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten following Saturday’s 31-14 thumping at Wisconsin, Beckman couldn’t be off to a much worse start in Champaign.
And this deeper dilemma affecting U. of I. athletics is so discouraging that after reading this column, you very well may be driven to drink yourself.
Come 2013, the Illini are coming to town. Get used to it, Chicago, because it’s going to be happening often – and not just for football games.
While Big Ten training camps are underway, Adam Hoge will devote an entire day to each of the 12 teams in the conference.
Watch out, Chicago’s Big Ten Team, because there’s a different team that’s claiming the whole state.
On Thursday, the bad case of Illini indigestion was finally relieved when Ohio University’s John Groce was announced as the 17th men’s head coach in Illinois history during a press conference at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said most of those reports surrounding the school’s coaching search were completely untrue.
Thomas’ latest rejection has left him in a tough spot. Other candidates now know how much money Illinois is willing to spend.
Sources close to Simeon head coach Robert Smith say he has been in Champaign having conversations with Thomas about an assistant job.
As Illinois continues its search for a new head coach, new athletic director Mike Thomas is after one guy.
It’s difficult enough to hire the right basketball coach at Illinois, without choosing to limit the field of candidates beforehand.
Instead of making a brief statement in support of his friend, Izzo opted on Friday to instead unspool an inappropriate – and inaccurate – rant against Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas.
In an interview on The Mully & Hanley Show on 670 The Score, Thomas simply said he had no comment, after Izzo ripped him Friday at the Big Ten Tournament.