2021-22 College Hoops Coaching Carousel

#902      
I'm finding this comment extremely interesting, BigJack --- in response to 0440's post above.

Jennifer Aniston Yes GIF
I think he’s referring to aviator
 
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#905      

the national

the Front Range
Probably lower than 3rd…..Stevens was interested until he talked to Mike Thomas…..no one wanted to work for that man
That at least makes me feel better. At the time I couldn’t believe how soo many coaches could turn us down. I thought either we are extremely unlucky, our program had fallen that far under Weber or our AD is terrible. Thus started my long standing dislike for Thomas, that man that ruined our athletic department.
 
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#911      
What was so bad about Mike Thomas as A.D.? I know his hires weren't great but what was it about him that no one wanted to come to Illinois?
 
#912      
What was so bad about Mike Thomas as A.D.? I know his hires weren't great but what was it about him that no one wanted to come to Illinois?
That right there pretty much ruins him in my book, considering we are counting on the AD to hire top-level coaches especially for our two main sports as the No. 1 job description. Even if the AD was the nicest guy in the world, someone you'd want as a neighbor to have a barbecue and drink some beers with, if he can't hire good coaches in football and basketball, he's a failure as AD. I also didn't like how determined Thomas seemed to be when he came in to fire Ron Zook. Believe me, I know all of Zook's shortcomings as a coach, but didn't like how Thomas showed no support even when Zook was trying to make one last run at getting things back on track, and was off to a promising start. You can at least support him publicly during the year and then if things go as south as they ended up going, make the change then.

More to your point, not only was Thomas terrible at his job IMO, he was a terrible guy. Everything I've seen written or relayed to me about Thomas, not only would you not want to have a beer with him, he would think of himself as way too good to do that. Huge ego. Stories about how poorly he treated others who worked at Illinois, how he poorly he treated waiters at a restuarant, treated receptionists at hotels, etc. Thank goodness he's gone and we have Josh now.
 
#914      
That right there pretty much ruins him in my book, considering we are counting on the AD to hire top-level coaches especially for our two main sports as the No. 1 job description. Even if the AD was the nicest guy in the world, someone you'd want as a neighbor to have a barbecue and drink some beers with, if he can't hire good coaches in football and basketball, he's a failure as AD. I also didn't like how determined Thomas seemed to be when he came in to fire Ron Zook. Believe me, I know all of Zook's shortcomings as a coach, but didn't like how Thomas showed no support even when Zook was trying to make one last run at getting things back on track, and was off to a promising start. You can at least support him publicly during the year and then if things go as south as they ended up going, make the change then.

More to your point, not only was Thomas terrible at his job IMO, he was a terrible guy. Everything I've seen written or relayed to me about Thomas, not only would you not want to have a beer with him, he would think of himself as way too good to do that. Huge ego. Stories about how poorly he treated others who worked at Illinois, how he poorly he treated waiters at a restuarant, treated receptionists at hotels, etc. Thank goodness he's gone and we have Josh now.
There was certainly a lot of smoke around him just being an unpleasant person to work with/ be around. Not only at Illinois but I remember hearing very similar rumors from the Cincy fan base when we hired him. Something along the lines of the AD staff there having a party when they found out he was leaving for our job.
 
#916      

chiefini

Rockford, Illinois
He is a huge A-hole.
This. Whenever my husband and I were around Thomas, we were brushed off because we weren’t large or important enough donors. Not only was he never friendly, he was cold, arrogant, aloof, and made us feel like we were subservient/inferior. This was at numerous IFUND events, including one that I had spent a ton of time organizing in Rockford.
 
#918      
Thomas himself was definitely about as dislikable as one could be without having some major scandal or whatever, but a lot of the issues stemmed from the university's finances being in a huge flux and not committing to spending on athletics. Hence why football and basketball both hired "most willing guy" from the MAC rather than someone people could get excited about.
 
#919      
This. Whenever my husband and I were around Thomas, we were brushed off because we weren’t large or important enough donors. Not only was he never friendly, he was cold, arrogant, aloof, and made us feel like we were subservient/inferior. This was at numerous IFUND events, including one that I had spent a ton of time organizing in Rockford.
Wow. :oops: Thanks for illuminating.
Now THAT is truly an a-hole.
Sorry you had to endure that, Chief. And thank you for your service. ❤️

I trust you have met/worked with JW in a similar capacity. Can you please share your experience? I hope (and assume) it's completely different. Thanks.
 
#920      
Wow. :oops: Thanks for illuminating.
Now THAT is truly an a-hole.
Sorry you had to endure that, Chief. And thank you for your service. ❤️

I trust you have met/worked with JW in a similar capacity. Can you please share your experience? I hope (and assume) it's completely different. Thanks.
Idk either one of them at all, but I also had one of those brushed off moments with Thomas at the Miami tournament game (well before that play, which understandably would have set him in the wrong mood, like all of us).

Even if he and Josh were the exact same person (which I don’t think they are), Josh at least understands how to interact with people (even if it was all fake, which I don’t think it is). Josh’s public persona is calm, confident and intelligent, which is light years ahead of Thomas. Even if that’s not how Josh truly is, it matters that he projects that publicly.

All this to say, Whitman has a better understanding of how to appear to others. I’m not accusing him of being fake at all, but if he were, it matters that he doesn’t come off like that.
 
#921      

illini80

Forgottonia
Idk either one of them at all, but I also had one of those brushed off moments with Thomas at the Miami tournament game (well before that play, which understandably would have set him in the wrong mood, like all of us).

Even if he and Josh were the exact same person (which I don’t think they are), Josh at least understands how to interact with people (even if it was all fake, which I don’t think it is). Josh’s public persona is calm, confident and intelligent, which is light years ahead of Thomas. Even if that’s not how Josh truly is, it matters that he projects that publicly.

All this to say, Whitman has a better understanding of how to appear to others. I’m not accusing him of being fake at all, but if he were, it matters that he doesn’t come off like that.
I haven’t met either, but I agree with what you are saying. Thomas was a regular on Saturday Sports Talk and listening to him was like fingernails on a chalkboard. Listening to Josh, I feel he’s a guy I’d like to be friends with.
 
#923      

chiefini

Rockford, Illinois
Wow. :oops: Thanks for illuminating.
Now THAT is truly an a-hole.
Sorry you had to endure that, Chief. And thank you for your service. ❤️

I trust you have met/worked with JW in a similar capacity. Can you please share your experience? I hope (and assume) it's completely different. Thanks.
The difference between Josh and Thomas is night and day and was apparent immediately. I organized another event where Josh was introduced in Rockford right after he was named AD, and he was totally awesome. He was professional, yet friendly and outgoing. In contrast to Thomas who left after one hour at his event, Josh was one of the last to leave at his, speaking with every single person who wanted to talk to him. He did a question and answer session after the dinner where he was open and candid. He was so impressive and intelligent; it made our whole Rockford Area Illini Club thrilled to have him there. He was grateful for the work we had done and actually thanked us for putting on the successful event. I have attended many (25? 30?) IFUND events since then, and he always remembers my name and is friendly. Same with pre or post game in the tailgate areas where he is just walking through Grange Grove or the lots. I think that because he is also an Illini, he shares the special passion and love of all of Illini Nation for our sports, and that fact makes him more approachable and appreciative because of our shared loyalty. He just gets it. I am really happy and proud that Josh Whitman is the AD at Illinois.
 
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