Track and Field
Updated 12:10 p.m.
The search committee for the next athletic director at the University of Illinois will be chaired by Matt Wheeler, a professor of animal sciences and a faculty athletic representative.
KENOSHA, Wis. — Oakwood’s Jon Davis added to his standout senior season Saturday after winning the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships Midwest Regional on the campus of UW-Parkside. Davis, the three-time defending Class 1A state champion and an Illinois recruit, won the regional title with a time of 14 minutes, 57 seconds — topping Paul Roberts of Boulder, Colo., by one second.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Oakwood’s Jon Davis, eight days removed from winning the IHSA state cross-country title, captured the Nike Cross-Country Midwest Regional title Sunday and qualified for a national event.
Paul Kowalczyk was named Illinois’ interim athletic director on Monday. Staff writer Scott Richey caught up with Kowalczyk on Wednesday, less than 48 hours into his new job, to discuss what’s next for Illinois athletics, his previous stops at Southern Illinois and Colorado State, life as a Cleveland Browns fan and craft beer:
CHAMPAIGN — “Whirlwind” was the word that came to mind for Illinois interim athletic director Paul Kowalczyk to describe the last 48 hours. Five days’ notice really didn’t give him a head start on his new duties. Not when he wouldn’t officially take the reins of the job until Monday’s announcement of Mike Thomas’ termination.
There are matches made in heaven ... Mike Krzyzewski and Duke, Urban Meyer and Ohio State ... or if you prefer, Bill and Hillary, Johnny Cash and June Carter — who else could have sung “Jackson”? — and don’t forget Stiller and Meara.
Congratulate Michigan’s Wolverines. They had one objective above all others, and they landed him: Jim Harbaugh. Another match made in heaven.
Plenty was said, done and released to the public Monday when Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas was fired and the school released the findings of Franczek Radelet's investigation into the school's football and women's basketball programs. A look at everything from The News-Gazette surrounding the situation:
CHAMPAIGN — Taking a cue from Illinois basketball coach John Groce’s approach to the instability of his roster due to injuries, Paul Kowalczyk is approaching his new position as if he’s simply the next man up.
“When you’re asked to step up, you step up, and I felt like it was an obligation and a duty to the university,” Kowalczyk said.
Who will be the next full-time University of Illinois athletic director after Mike Thomas' ouster Monday? Here are five possibilities, all with past UI ties:
Ex-Illini football player and staffer is the current AD at Colorado and would be a popular pick.
CHAMPAIGN — Heard from Mike Thomas early Monday afternoon.
I asked him for an interview, but he declined. Politely. Always politely.
“Hi Bob,” Thomas texted. “I appreciate the opportunity to visit, but will let you visit with my friends.
“Thanks for your great coverage of UI and best of luck in the future.”