AD talking to the people

AD talking to the people

New Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has sent a letter to season ticket holders (which is also posted on detailing his search for a new coach. Of course, no names are mentioned.

Here's a sampling from the letter:

"As our search for a new head football coach moves forward, I have a strong sense of the type of coach we need to realize the potential of Illini football. I intend to contact a trusted group of friends who are well respected in collegiate and professional football circles. A successful football coach at Illinois or any top-tier college program must have talents beyond the knowledge of the game, particularly for a program intent on establishing itself consistently among the Top 25 BCS programs in the country and at the top of the Big Ten. We will find this person for Illinois!

"Unlike the recruitment of a top-tier member of our faculty or the majority of prospective student-athletes, coaching candidates who reach finalist level for BCS coaching jobs are often known to the mainstream media, talk shows and message boards, which are such a big part of today's media landscape. During coaching searches - including the early stages of this process - we have heard the popularity of certain candidates in the eyes of the public. Many seem to understand what we should be looking for in our next head coach. We appreciate the letters and emails, and the passion that fuels them."

Thomas also talks about the upcoming bowl game, the importance of the character of the next hire and his desire to have the person stay a while.

Sounds like he is getting close.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

tunacommander wrote on December 01, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thomas has already proven himself to be grossly inept. He never even approached the perfect hire, Mike Leach. Illinois will wallow in mediocrity for the next five years with the next no-name new guy who can't recruit or coach against the likes of Urban Meyer and Brady Hoak. Chicago will continue to be plundered of all top recruits by Wisconsin and Notre Dame. Illinois will get the leftovers and turn out more sickening sub-500 seasons. Merry Christmas Illini fans............

illiniart wrote on December 01, 2011 at 10:12 am

What a tuna!  Give the guy a chance.  He hasn't even named our guy yet.

nolintaylor wrote on December 01, 2011 at 1:12 pm


As I recall Brady Hoke was not a "slam dunk" hire and everyone at Michigan was instantly pleased. We will see how Hoke's recruits stack up. Also Urban Meyer has never coached a game in the Big Ten outside of bowl games so I would be hesitant to speculate on his abilities to recruit in the long term. Just look at his final years at Florida, in the Sunshine state, where recruiting should come very easy, even the Urban the Myth could not get enough top prospects to fill the ranks. Just look at how few NFL scouts go to Gators games to scout UF players compared to before and its very different result.

Illinois, is what it is in football. Eight wins per year would be satisfactory to most in Illinois fandom with occasional reaches to ten or perhaps eleven wins would cement the coach's legacy after twenty plus years of mediocrity.

I do not mind a no namer-as long as he delivers wins on the field consistently. Go ILLINI

ArchIllini wrote on December 01, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I don't think hiring another coach who was fired at his previous school is a step in the right direction for Illinois football.  Give the guy a chance.  Mike Thomas has a track record of finding good coaches and until I'm proven wrong on the field of play, I trust he will do it again.