Tate: Q&A with Mike Thomas

The role of an athletic director touches on an endless variety of issues. Moving into May, Mike Thomas provides an Illini update:


How has the success of the men’s spring teams impacted the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics?

Freshman keys softball split

EVANSTON — Freshman Kate Giddens earned her first career win, leading Illinois to a 9-8 victory against Northwestern on Wednesday in the second game of a softball doubleheader.

In the opener, Jess Perkins drove in five runs and hit a three-run home run, but the Illini lost 12-4 in five innings.

UI roundup: Men's golf dominates finale

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Illinois’ final tournament of the regular season was one of its most dominant of the spring. The third-ranked Illini shot 35-under par as a team in the three-round Boilermaker Invitational, beat runner-up Louisville by 32 strokes and had the four top individuals.

UI roundup: O'Connor receives All-America status

FORT WORTH, Texas — Illinois women’s gymnast Giana O’Connor totaled a 39.425 in the all-around in Friday’s afternoon session of the NCAA Championships’ semifinals, tying for third and earning first-team All-America honors.

O’Connor turned in the best all-around score by an Illini in NCAA Championships history.

Football adds recruit

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football received its fourth commitment in its 2016 class when Chicago Phillips linebacker Amani Jones orally committed to the Illini after Thursday night’s practice at Memorial Stadium.

“I am happy to say that I have committed to U of I!!!!,” Jones tweeted Thursday night.

Tate: UI teams show money doesn't mean wins

We are left to wonder:

Why are University of Illinois men’s spring sports having such success while the school’s teams in the “money sports,” football and basketball, struggle?

Softball team wins seventh in a row

Chicago — Jade Vecvanags tossed a three-hit shutout, leading Illinois to a 6-0 nonconference softball victory against DePaul on Wednesday night.

The Illini (19-21) won their seventh consecutive game and 11th in their last 12.

Maestas wins NCAA championship

NORMAN, Okla. — Illinois men’s gymnast C.J. Maestas won the national championship in the high bar, posting a 15.125 on Saturday night.

Maestas previously won an NCAA championship in 2012, competing in still rings.

Illini freshman Bobby Baker claimed All-America honors on Saturday night in parallel bars and all-around.

UI roundup: Softball earns Big Ten victory

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Carly Thomas, Allie Bauch and Nicole Evans all cleared the fence Friday at Maryland Softball Stadium, as Illinois softball defeated the Terrapins 7-3.

The Illini (16-21, 6-4 Big Ten) scored twice in each of the last three innings to secure Jade Vecvanags’ 10th win of the season on the mound.

Men's gymnastics sees season end early

NORMAN, Okla. — The Illinois men’s gymnastics program failed to advance to the final round of the NCAA Championships during Thursday’s semifinal qualifier, placing fourth of six squads in the second of two heats.