The meaning behind Michael's move

The meaning behind Michael's move

Former Illini basketball player Tom Michael is taking over the Eastern Illinois athletic department. What does it mean ...

For Michael ...
The chance to run his own program. He wore several different hats during his 16 years at Illinois. In the running for the job that eventually went to Mike Thomas, he was a trusted member of the staff, as evidenced by his appointment to lead the State Farm Center renovation.

For Eastern Illinois ...
The school gets an experienced leader who has had his hand in all aspects of college athletics. That knowledge will serve him well as the Panthers try to build their athletic program anchored by a strong football team. With big-time donations at a mid-major not as easy to come by, the personable Michael can hit up prominent alums (Tony Romo, Sean Payton, etc.) for much-needed cash. Fundraising is going to be a huge part of his job.

For Illinois ...
It needs a new point person in charge of the SFC project. There are many qualified candidates within the department, but look for Warren Hood to be in line to assume that role. Hood was the go-to guy for the Memorial Stadium renovation and was lauded for his work. Michael has long been rumored to be in line for the EIU job, so certainly Mike Thomas has a plan.

— Bob Asmussen and Marcus Jackson

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