Groce on A.D. Hire: Will be Good to Have a "Rudder on the Athletic Dept. Ship"


CHAMPAIGN -- As of Wednesday afternoon, the University of Illinois still had not made an official announcement as tot he future of their athletic director position.

The information, however, seems to have circulated for 24 hours prior, as the university is expected to announce Josh Whitman, current A.D. at Washington University-St. Louis, will take the position at his alma mater.

The 37-year-old Whitman played football for the Fighting Illini as a tight end from 1997-2000, and returned to Illinois in 2005 to work in the athletic department.  Since leaving in 2008, he also held A.D. duties at Division III Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Following the Illinois men's basketball team's win over Rutgers, head coach John Groce - while unable to confirm any reports - expressed excitement that the process was nearing an end.

"I think it will be great for the athletic department, be great for us as well to have a... rudder on the athletic department ship," Groce said. "It should be good. I'm excited to move forward at this point."

"It sounds like it's coming down the pike, and we'll look forward to that," added Groce.

According to a WAND source, the university is expected to make a formal announcement tonight, with a press conference to follow on Thursday.

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