Illinois names Josh Whitman new athletic director

Whitman played football at Illinois from 1997 to 2000. 
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Illinois has named Josh Whitman as the university's new athletic director, the school announced.

“It is a dream come true for me to return to my alma mater as the next director of athletics,” Whitman said in a statement. “With strong leadership, a bold vision, daring integrity and an unparalleled commitment from a unified and active Illini Nation, together we can build an athletics program befitting our great institution. I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, President Killeen, Chancellor Wilson and Illini everywhere for their trust and faith in me. I will work tirelessly to achieve our goals. The future is bright for the Illini.”

Whitman played football at Illinois from 1997 to 2000 and worked in the athletic department as a coordinator of special projects from 2005 to 2008. Most recently, he has served as the athletic director at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Washington University.

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Illinois has undergone several changes in the athletic department after firing head coach Tim Beckman in August and athletic director Mike Thomas in NovemberBill Cubit was hired to replace Beckman on a two-year deal.

Whitman is expected to be introduced during a press conference on Thursday.

- Christopher Chavez