LIVE! Nancy Fahey introduced

LIVE! Nancy Fahey introduced

10:50 a.m.

Fahey said she has talked to a lot of coaches who have made the jump from Division III to D-I.

"I called several because I wanted to talk about their transition," Fahey said. "It was nice to talk, and I will continue to talk. As far as developing the recruiting, this is a process, and I'm going to put myself around people that are familiar. We have recruited. Trust me, they just didn't show up at Wash U. It's just a different athlete and skill-set. I get that. It's not like I just sat at my desk and people walked in and said, 'Let's go play basketball.'"

The current Illinois players are on spring break, and Fahey is eager to meet them.

"I've seen them play, but we're going to meet Monday," Fahey said. "I want to have an open mind."

10:45 a.m.

Nancy Fahey started off her remarks by thanking Washington University and the opportunity the Division III school gave her to start her head coaching career.

The relationship she already had with Josh Whitman played a key role in making this change.

"You have to have a lot of things come together in a career," Fahey said. "We had a lot of success at Wash U. I'm a challenge-oriented person. If you don't know your leadership and where you're heading, is key. I know Josh, and I know his leadership. That's easy to follow."

Fahey said she is fully aware of the differences between recruiting at a Division III school compared to a Big Ten program like Illinois

"You recruit to the student body," Fahey said. "We recruited at the national level. We recruited regionally. It's a different roster than you usually see at Division III."

Fahey said she's not afraid to ask questions in her new role.

"I'm 100 percent a sponge in making this program better," Fahey said.

10:35 a.m.

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said there was "unbelievable interest" in this position.

Whitman first reached out to Fahey the day after Washington University's season on March 12.

"I had the chance to talk to her about the job, the program," Whitman said. "I was excited to learn there was mutual interest."

Whitman brought Fahey on campus last week to meet with staff.

"Things have moved quickly from there," Whitman said. "This was one of my bigger selling points. It's hard to take someone who's been somewhere for 30 years ... and then to make a change like this one is not easy. I'm grateful to Nancy for her trust in us."

Fahey brings a 737-133 career record to Illinois.

"The reason she's here, though, is it goes way beyond the record books," Whitman said. "The thing I saw from her in two years we worked together is someone who has unbelievable people skills. She connects with them on a very personal level. She's able to push them to do things they never thought they'd be able to do."

10:25 a.m.

Some quick bullet points about Nancy Fahey before she gets formally introduced here this morning on the UI campus:

-She was the fastest coach in NCAA women's history to reach 600 wins, doing so in her 706th game

-She ranks sixth among all active NCAA coaches with an .847 career winning percentage (737-133)

-She led Washington University to 10 Final Fours and has won five national titles

-She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the Washington University Sports Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

10:10 a.m.

Nancy Fahey has a six-year, $3.3 million contract, pending Board of Trustee approval, that expires on April 30, 2023.

Her total annual compensation increases each year, starting at $500,000 in her first year (that includes base salary and additional compensation), increasing to $520,000 in her second year, $540,000 in her third year, $565,000 in her fourth year, $590,000 in her fifth year and $615,000 in her sixth year.

The contract calls for her to have the use of two automobiles, country club membership, relocation costs and ticket access.

Fahey will have a budget allocation for three assistant coaches up to $500,000 and an allocation of up to $300,000 to four basketball support staff.

10 a.m.

Two weeks ago, the men's basketball coach at Illinois was John Groce.

And the women's basketball coach was Matt Bollant.

But much has changed in the past 14 days, with Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman firing Groce on March 11 and hiring Brad Underwood to replace him last Saturday.

The same was true on the women's basketball front, with Whitman firing Bollant on March 14 and replacing him with Nancy Fahey, the long-time head coach at Washington University on Wednesday.

Fahey's introductory press conference is slated for 10:30 a.m. this morning inside the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building.

The veteran Hall of Fame coach brings an impressive pedigree to Illinois, having racked up 737 wins in 31 seasons at Washington University, a Division III school.

How well that success, and how well Fahey can recruit players to a struggling Big Ten program, however, are two key elements to watch as her tenure plays out.

Illinois women's basketball hasn't reached the NCAA tournament since 2003 when Theresa Grentz roamed the sidelines.

Fahey is the program's third head coach since Grentz resigned in April 2007, with Jolette Law fired in 2012 after five seasons and Bollant getting let go five years later after he wasn't able to turn the program into a consistent winner.

Our Bob Asmussen caught up with Grentz earlier this week, and the Illini's all-time winningest coach is a fan of the Fahey hire. Read more about her thoughts on Fahey and the Illini in Saturday's News-Gazette, along with plenty of other coverage from Friday's presser.

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