The Illinois AD Search

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It'd be worse.
Admittedly, I haven't tuned in as closely to our candidates since Rick George passed and we hired Cubit, but would Tom Michael really be worse than Cubit and his stupid 2 year deal?

My understanding is we're basically in 3 tiers right now:

Hail Administration and Shahid Kahn Tier:

  • Rick George

Congrats, you didn't **** it up Tier:

  • Sean Frazier
  • Craig Tiley

Welp Tier:

  • Josh Whitman
  • Tom Michael
 
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Admittedly, I haven't tuned in as closely to our candidates since Rick George passed and we hired Cubit, but would Tom Michael really be worse than Cubit and his stupid 2 year deal?

My understanding is we're basically in 3 tiers right now:

Hail Administration and Shahid Kahn Tier:

  • Rick George

Congrats, you didn't **** it up Tier:

  • Sean Frazier
  • Craig Tiley

Welp Tier:

  • Josh Whitman
  • Tom Michael

Yes. Cubit was a punt. Michael would be a pick-six.
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
Admittedly, I haven't tuned in as closely to our candidates since Rick George passed and we hired Cubit, but would Tom Michael really be worse than Cubit and his stupid 2 year deal?

My understanding is we're basically in 3 tiers right now:

Hail Administration and Shahid Kahn Tier:

  • Rick George

Congrats, you didn't **** it up Tier:

  • Sean Frazier
  • Craig Tiley

Welp Tier:

  • Josh Whitman
  • Tom Michael
Whitman needs more seasoning, but he's several cuts above Michael.
 
As opposed to the Cubit thing, which is a per se, unalloyed disaster that anyone with knowledge of the facts can see, the question of the next AD is going to be much more about the inside game, IMO.

The greatest grand slam home run in the world wouldn't make up for what we've just done, but if someone like Tom Michael can get enough of our donors singing from the same songbook and advocate effectively for the department inside the University, that's worth infinitely more than someone who would breathe fire in the Chicago papers about "demanding excellence".

The public face(s) of the DIA should be the football and basketball coach.
 
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As opposed to the Cubit thing, which is a per se, unalloyed disaster that anyone with knowledge of the facts can see, the question of the next AD is going to be much more about the inside game, IMO.

The greatest grand slam home run in the world wouldn't make up for what we've just done, but if someone like Tom Michael can get enough of our donors singing from the same songbook and advocate effectively for the department inside the University, that's worth infinitely more than someone who would breathe fire in the Chicago papers about "demanding excellence".

The public face(s) of the DIA should be the football and basketball coach.
I get what you're saying, but Michael would just be Guenther Lite. That's a long, strange trip to end up back where we started (which, as everyone will recall, was not a great place to be). If the songbook is "Be the Best University in East Central Illinois," I don't care if there are 1 or 100 people singing from it.
 
I think our desire for an AD as our galvanizing leader springs largely from the fact that except for John Groce's brief honeymoon, the mood of the fanbase at large towards both of our revenue sport coaches has sat at "psychotic, overwhelming hostility" since the Guenther's Folly game. That's a LONG time.
 
I get what you're saying, but Michael would just be Guenther Lite. That's a long, strange trip to end up back where we started (which, as everyone will recall, was not a great place to be). If the songbook is "Be the Best University in East Central Illinois," I don't care if there are 1 or 100 people singing from it.
I get that sentiment, but I just don't understand why Michael is the avatar for it any more than Whitman or Tiley or Mike Small or Larry Lubin, or frankly even Rick George.

George would be the closest you can get, but you can't really hire an "Illini guy" that doesn't have Guenther ties. Such a thing does not exist.

Like, Joe Illini Fan is demanding that we let Shad Khan and Jerry Colangelo run the search, as if those two haven't been close personal friends of RG for decades.
 
New York City, N.Y. City
Admittedly, I haven't tuned in as closely to our candidates since Rick George passed and we hired Cubit, but would Tom Michael really be worse than Cubit and his stupid 2 year deal?

My understanding is we're basically in 3 tiers right now:

Hail Administration and Shahid Kahn Tier:

  • Rick George

Congrats, you didn't **** it up Tier:

  • Sean Frazier
  • Craig Tiley

Welp Tier:

  • Josh Whitman
  • Tom Michael
This is an amazingly comprehensive list. It must have taken you at least eight weeks and required the assistance of eight other people, each representing a different stakeholder in the process, to come up with it. Assuming your first choice is not interested, any chance you could get back to me with your next best choice before January 4th? Not that we want to set an exact time frame, mind you.
 
This is an amazingly comprehensive list. It must have taken you at least eight weeks and required the assistance of eight other people, each representing a different stakeholder in the process, to come up with it. Assuming your first choice is not interested, any chance you could get back to me with your next best choice before January 4th? Not that we want to set an exact time frame, mind you.
My spot in the Loyalty Troll Caucus is getting increasingly competitive. :clappy:
 
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I get that sentiment, but I just don't understand why Michael is the avatar for it any more than Whitman or Tiley or Mike Small or Larry Lubin, or frankly even Rick George.

George would be the closest you can get, but you can't really hire an "Illini guy" that doesn't have Guenther ties. Such a thing does not exist.

Like, Joe Illini Fan is demanding that we let Shad Khan and Jerry Colangelo run the search, as if those two haven't been close personal friends of RG for decades.
Right, but there are degrees here. Michael finished school at Illinois in '94 and was in an administrative DIA role by '96, and remained in the department until leaving for Eastern. That's ECI in its purest, most uncut form right there.

Those other guys at least did other things, either in the private sector or at other schools.

And while Tiley and Small were there while Guenther was the AD, they were also doing their own thing, which happened to be building national powerhouses from next to nothing.
 
I get that sentiment, but I just don't understand why Michael is the avatar for it any more than Whitman or Tiley or Mike Small or Larry Lubin, or frankly even Rick George.

George would be the closest you can get, but you can't really hire an "Illini guy" that doesn't have Guenther ties. Such a thing does not exist.

Like, Joe Illini Fan is demanding that we let Shad Khan and Jerry Colangelo run the search, as if those two haven't been close personal friends of RG for decades.
Does anyone know if Larry Lubin is in the picture at all? I would think that he might now be the favorite of the alums who were actively involved in trying to get George.
 
Right, but there are degrees here. Michael finished school at Illinois in '94 and was in an administrative DIA role by '96, and remained in the department until leaving for Eastern. That's ECI in its purest, most uncut form right there.

Those other guys at least did other things, either in the private sector or at other schools.

And while Tiley and Small were there while Guenther was the AD, they were also doing their own thing, which happened to be building national powerhouses from next to nothing.
I have a dream in which one day Illinois Loyalty will judge a man not by the parochialism of his resume, but by the content of his character.


Seriously though, I think you and I are in near-total agreement on the attitude the DIA ought to have toward Guentherism, but I don't think you can say beyond a reasonable doubt that Tom Michael doesn't feel the exact same way. Lots of old guard people got dumped out the back door when MT arrived. Michael got promoted.
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
Right, but there are degrees here. Michael finished school at Illinois in '94 and was in an administrative DIA role by '96, and remained in the department until leaving for Eastern. That's ECI in its purest, most uncut form right there.

Those other guys at least did other things, either in the private sector or at other schools.

And while Tiley and Small were there while Guenther was the AD, they were also doing their own thing, which happened to be building national powerhouses from next to nothing.
What Tiley and Small did, transforming a northern school into a national powerhouse, is virtually unprecedented. Tiley's bona fides only get better. Have to see if he's interested. If so, we can do a hell of a lot worse. Small has unfinished business, doubt he's interested.
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
Does anyone know if Larry Lubin is in the picture at all? I would think that he might now be the favorite of the alums who were actively involved in trying to get George.
I'm not gonna pretend that I know what's going on, but if George and Tiley are out of play, a Lubin/Whitman team sounds good.
 
Jerry Colangelo just got hired as Chairman of Basketball Ops with the 76ers. Guess he'll be a little busier than usual, now. Would've loved to have had him openly involved (or have him just take the job)
 
San Francisco
Hail Administration and Shahid Kahn Tier:

  • Rick George
Job #1 for the committee is to find more people for this list. I don't have confidence they will, but that's what they need to do.

Here's an idea: look for ADs with midwestern ties at schools that aren't blue bloods but are having good success relative to their tradition or history. Here's just a few names you could take a look at:

Baylor: Ian McCaw has been AD since 2003. He is not a Baylor or Texas guy so maybe he could be lured away to a new challenge. (He went to school in Canada and got his masters at UMass.)

Ole Miss: Ross Bjork is the youngest Power 5 AD. He's from Kansas and got his Masters at Western Illinois. Illinois is a tough job, but Ole Miss is pretty tough too. Things are likely to go south quickly for him if he ever loses Hugh Freeze.

Miss St: Scott Stricklin is a Miss St alum and from Jackson, MS. No chance for him.

Arkansas: Jeff Long is from Ohio and his wife is from Ann Arbor. This is obviously a long shot, but Arkansas has unrealistic championship expectations. I just don't see how they rise up in the SEC West. Maybe a big pay package could lure him away and give our athletic department some credibility.

Missouri: Mack Rhoades previously worked at Akron, has a Masters from Indiana and hired Tom Herman at Houston. Missouri looks to be a bit of a dumpster fire, but you can't pin much of that on him. I also think Gary Pinkel was a once in a generation coach for them and they are very unlikely to rise up again in the SEC East, which has been really down the last few years. Maybe Illinois would actually be an upgrade.

Edit: Michigan State is the best example of a program that has risen beyond it's historical level. Mark Hollis is an MSU guy though as are a lot of the staff. No chance for him. Northwestern is another example, but we know about Jim Phillips and we know he's not available even though he's an alum.
 
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Seriously though, I think you and I are in near-total agreement on the attitude the DIA ought to have toward Guentherism, but I don't think you can say beyond a reasonable doubt that Tom Michael doesn't feel the exact same way. Lots of old guard people got dumped out the back door when MT arrived. Michael got promoted.
Very fair.

And honestly, I need to slow my own roll a little bit. I looked at the hires Thomas made at Cincy and the way he improved the overall athletic standing there and considered that a really strong hire. I looked at Tim Beckman bringing Toledo back from a point-shaving scandal and thought that was a strong hire. They'd both shown they could do the job before.

I suppose that's not exactly an ironclad way to evaluate candidates.
 
I can't believe that Harrington would take that position.
There is no part of this entire search process . . . for football, for AD and potentially for MBB Coach . . . that doesn't leave me shaking my head. I only went to one college. I really only root for one college. Why do they have to be so totally screwed up?
 
That "case" was exactly Illinois. Nothing about being the best candidate or most qualified - simply feel good platitudes that are literally nothing more than "well, he used to be at Illinois, so he knows Illinois". Has never hired a football or basketball coach? Perfect! No proven experience fundraising? No, but he's passionate!

EJ33 has it exactly how I've thought about this all along. There are guys that have built programs out of nothing. Guys that may move for 2-3x their current salaries. I'd offer Chris Del Conte at TCU and Rob Mullens at Oregon as more examples.

But, it's clear this University and its boosters are "Illinois guy that will bring back the RG inner circle and make me feel like a big shot in ECI or bust".

I give up.
 
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