Kowalczyk to retire

The man who bridged the gap in leadership for the Illinois athletic department from the time Mike Thomas was fired to the time Josh Whitman was hired will retire from the university.

Paul Kowalczyk will step aside as the Illini's executive senior associate athletic director, effective Aug. 31, following more than 30 years of working in college athletics.

Illini events under the lights in 2018-19

Sure, track still has a meet left. But as we see it, the Illini's 2017-18 season was put to bed when baseball and golf bowed out over the weekend. So let's look ahead to what surely will be a better season, as beat writer SCOTT RICHEY offers 10 events Illinois fans can anticipate for 2018-19:

With the (__) overall pick

UI chancellor: Chicago initiatives will add resources for C-U, not drain them

CHAMPAIGN — Chancellor Robert Jones reassured community leaders Tuesday that expanding the University of Illinois' presence in Chicago won't drain resources from Champaign-Urbana, arguing that two new initiatives there will do "just the opposite."

Top of the Morning, May 15, 2018

Our podcast lineup continues to grow at, with basketball beat writer SCOTT RICHEY the latest to offer his expertise for our listening audience.

He's one of four newsroom veterans who regularly weigh in with unique content at our website.

Three Illini programs set pace for repeat NCAA appearances

Illinois softball is vying for its third straight NCAA tournament appearance, a feat the program has never accomplished. What other Illini programs currently have sent full teams to at least three consecutive appearances in the final stage of their respective season-ending NCAA events? Here you go:

Men's golf

Rece Davis to host Hall of Fame gala

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois dipped into the national sports media well for its Hall of Fame Gala host for a second straight year, with ESPN personality Rece Davis set to host the June 15 event at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.

Colin's Best Of The Bunch: April 23, 2018

Preps coordinator Colin Likas breaks down the local high school sports scene while providing plaudits for athletes from Danville, Oakwood, Tuscola, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin and more.

Illinois' national title hopes dashed

CHICAGO — Either way, the men's gymnastics season was going to end on Saturday night for Illinois.

It just didn't conclude with a national title the Illini so desperately wanted to leave UIC Pavilion with.

Balthazor finishes 13th overall

ST. LOUIS — A 13th-place finish in the all-around competition wasn't what she wanted.

But, Rae Balthazor still left Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis with something to smile about.

Balthazor's 9.900 during Friday's floor exercises at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships was the eighth-best mark overall and earned the Illinois sophomore second-team All-America honors.

Illini advance, finals up next

CHICAGO — All Illinois men's gymnastics wanted was another shot at Oklahoma.

Well, here they go.

The Illini compiled a score of 408.824, placing second during Friday night's qualifying session of the NCAA championships to advance to tonight's six-team finals at the UIC Pavilion.