All remains quiet on the Illinois athletic director search. And Illini fans aren’t the only ones still wondering when they’ll find out who will sit in the decision-making chair at Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building when the fall semester begins.
“You just kind of wonder,” Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber said Tuesday. “You’re left in a state of limbo.
“You hope something’s in place when school comes around because you have to have good leadership from the top.”
Ron Guenther’s final day (June 30) passed with little fanfare, and athletic department mainstay Terry Cole took the temporary torch as interim AD – at least until Aug. 15, when he is scheduled to retire.
The athletic director search committee has whittled through candidates since May and hired an independent search firm to aid in the process. But the vacant chancellor position has taken priority at the university and the process has dragged into the dog days of summer, though Loren Tate of The News-Gazette reports that the university is interviewing the final chancellor candidates.
The prolonged AD search process has left Weber with more time to worry about his job status, though most of his time and attention has been occupied by the July recruiting period and this week’s continuation of practices prior to the Illini’s trip to Italy next month.
But the pressure is on Weber after another mediocre Big Ten finish last season. Though the level of pressure could raise or drop when Illinois finally announces a hire.
“Depends who it is. Depends if I know him or not,” Weber said. “We’re excited about our season. I think over the next two years, we have the potential to be very good. You got to win. That’s part of basketball. I understand that. If you got a new person in, you got to prove yourself every season. You got to make a good impression on the new boss.”