Potential Guenther replacements

Ask Loren Tate who he thinks should replace Ron Guenther here.

A.D. 'EM UP

We're assuming Ron Guenther's replacement currently is an athletic director. With the selection committee set to convene, here are 10 names to consider for the Illinois job:

Jim Phillips

Northwestern

Pros: Kendall Gill's roommate at Illinois knows how to work Chicago, knows his way around the Big Ten and knows every heavy hitter in C-U.

Cons: Commissioner Jim Delany might not encourage a move from within the conference.

Tom Jurich

Louisville

Pros: One of the Big East's best athletic programs ... new basketball arena ... Rick Pitino ... 10 bowl games ... we could go on and on.

Cons: Comfortable in Kentucky (he's in his 14th year), the California native might view move to C-U as lateral at best.

Cary Groth

Nevada

Pros: NIU grad — and former NIU AD — is a rising star. Has credentials to become the second female AD in the Big Ten.

Cons: Hard to believe, but there's only been one female AD in the Big Ten (Michigan State's Merrily Baker). That's a tall hurdle.

Josh Whitman

Wisconsin-La Crosse

Pros: Former Illini football player, academic all-star and lawyer has all the bases covered.

Cons: At 32, he might be better suited to take this job after the new hire retires.

Thomas Boeh

Fresno State

Pros: Illinois grad student worked in athletic department as well as Big Ten Network and Northwestern.

Cons: It's been more than 20 years since he was in C-U. Plus, Illini's football relationship with Bulldogs is strained.

Doug Woolard

South Florida

Pros: A 10-year AD at St. Louis, he guided the Bulls through a smooth transition into the Big East. A notorious fundraiser.

Cons: Messy Jim Leavitt split might make football fans nervous. Does South Florida even play basketball?

Jeff Hathaway

Connecticut

Pros: No one does a basketball program — men's and women's — like the Huskies. Rising football power, too. Did we mention Michael Hogan used to hang out there?

Cons: NCAA troubles — not to mention curious hiring of Paul Pasqualoni for the football job — hard to ignore.

Paul Kowalczyk

Colorado State

Pros: While at Southern Illinois, he hired Jerry Kill and Matt Painter. Kent State grad has Midwest roots.

Cons: Rams haven't done much in the sports that matter (football, men's basketball).

Joe Castiglione

Oklahoma

Pros: Ex-Missouri AD knows the region. He might be looking to leave the weakened Big 12. Football is huge in Norman.

Cons: He's at a top school, so why leave? Among the top-paid ADs in the country.

Randy Spetman

Florida State

Pros: Air Force grad has Midwestern roots (raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa) and power conference experience. Knows all about mascot controversies.

Cons: Why would he leave a Seminoles program that thrives in multiple sports?

Non-AD options

Rick George Might be hard to pry from Rangers gig

Craig Tiley (below) The people's choice at home in Australia

Mannie Jackson Beloved campus contributor

Mark Johnson Y chief knows how to raise money

Tim Brewster Former Illini still is connected

In-house options

Tom Michael (below) Program's GPA would lead Big Ten

Dana Brenner Veteran administrator knows the ropes

Warren Hood Steered Memorial Stadium project

Howard Milton Not a friendlier person at Bielfeldt

Chris Peacock Knows ins and outs of every department

Long shots we'd like to see

Lou Henson Assembly Hall renovation done by September

Rod Lovett His Parkland program is a juco power

Kent Brown SID would keep media happy

Don Gerard Only if he agrees to N-G interviews

Loren Tate With Jim Turpin as his right-hand man

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Other

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