Interim Chancellor Names 8-Person Committee in Search for Illinois' Next AD

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- The eight-member committee that has started searching for a new University of Illinois athletic director includes a professor, a coach and a university athlete.

Barbara Wilson is the interim chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus. She said Friday that she wants to hire someone to "restore the athletics program to a position of pride."

She did not say how soon the university hopes to have a replacement for Mike Thomas. He was fired in November after a series of complaints from athletes over treatment by coaches.

The committee includes soccer coach Janet Rayfield. A former soccer player has sued the university alleging she was improperly cleared to play after concussions.

The committee also includes animal sciences professor Matt Wheeler, softball player Nicole Evans, UI administrative employee, and former kicker Mike Bass, associate AD for academic services Keiko Price, associate AD for advancement Howard Milton, attorney Richard Sotckton, and judge Dan Flannell.

A search firm may also be used.

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