A part of the Illinois athletic department since 2001, Howard Milton last week was named Illinois’ senior associate director of athletics for development. He spent the previous 11 years as a development officer, helping oversee Illinois’ Renaissance project of the $169.5 million renovation of State Farm Center.
Though Illini fans more familiarly associate Jim Wright with Illinois basketball, few know the longtime Urbana resident also was a two-time Big Ten pole vault champion. He contributed to the UI’s 1953 outdoor track and field team title with a winning vault of 13 feet. Then he and the team duplicated those championships the following season as well.
Due to a series of hopefully nonrecurring problems, the UI athletic department was splashing red ink when Josh Whitman took the reins in early March.
Does anyone still believe the once-popular speculation that Josh Whitman, who’ll turn 38 on Aug. 5, was too young for the complex job as UI athletic director?
So far, if you’ll allow a film comparison, he’s been the administrative equivalent of Robert Redford in “The Natural.” He was born for this job.
Each Month's Top Moment
Former Illini point guard Dee Brown begins his new job as special assistant to then-athletic director Mike Thomas, putting a familiar face at the front of the DIA.
Men’s golf: A
Why an A: Mike Small’s squad is still in search of that elusive national title, but the Illini reaffirmed this spring that they’ve got a premier powerhouse program.
Last year’s grade: A
When Adam Silver or Rob Manfred or Roger Goodell speaks to a crowd of fans, they are booed. Loudly. Commissioners, for some reason, draw the ire of the people.
Except in the Big Ten.
There will be no booing the next time Jim Delany speaks. As commissioners go, he always wins the popularity contest.
Illinois athletics kept The News-Gazette headline writers busy throughout the week. Court decisions, student-athlete reinstatements, criminal charges dropped. There was a new story every day.
On Page 2 of Saturday’s sports section, a smaller headline read “Hood receives promotion.” Not as splashy but every bit as important.
CHAMPAIGN – Warren Hood was instrumental in the renovations at Memorial Stadium. The longtime DIA administrator also took control of the State Farm Center project when Tom Michael left the University of Illinois to become athletic director at Eastern Illinois.