“When I interviewed Josh, I didn’t take notes. I knew I was looking at the next athletic director.”
Josh Whitman impresses people that way. He was winning over his new boss, UI interim chancellor Barbara Wilson, even though he might not have known it.
CHAMPAIGN — Kevin Hambly got to know Josh Whitman in the mid- to late-2000s when Hambly was an assistant on Don Hardin’s volleyball staff.
Whitman was finishing up his law degree at Illinois and working with former Illini athletic director Ron Guenther.
Smiles were in full supply on Thursday morning on the Illinois campus.
Illinois introduced 37-year-old Josh Whitman to the public as the former Illini tight end became the 14th permanent athletic director in UI history.
Whitman has a five-year contract with his alma mater with a salary of $600,000 per year.
CHAMPAIGN — From one former Illini to another: “I think it’s awesome.”
That is Dee Brown talking about his new boss, Josh Whitman, who was hired Wednesday as Illinois’ athletic director.
Like Brown, Whitman spent his college days at Illinois. Like Brown, when the school called him home, he couldn’t say no.
At 28, Theo Epstein was the youngest general manager in the history of Major League Baseball ... too young to run the Boston Red Sox.
Really? Two years later in 2004, the Bosox won their first World Series in 86 years and repeated in 2007. He moved to the Chicago Cubs in October 2011, at roughly the same age then as 37-year-old Josh Whitman, new Illini athletic director, is now.
Shortly after being named the UI’s 14th athletic director, Josh Whitman reached out via email to the school’s I-Fund donors. Tagged “A Special Message from AD Josh Whitman,” the note read:
By BOB ASMUSSEN and MATT DANIELS
CHAMPAIGN — A former Illini is set to become the new athletic director at Illinois.