Illini AD Mike Thomas gets raise, three-year extension

Illini AD Mike Thomas gets raise, three-year extension
January 23, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas is getting a raise.

Per an AP report, University of Illinois trustees voted unanimously Thursday to raise Thomas' salary from $503,928 a year to $554,320 a year. His contract was also extended an additional three years through August 2019. Thomas is in his third year at Illinois.

Also according to the report, the recommendation for Thomas' raise applauded the AD for selling the naming rights to the State Farm Center (previously Assembly Hall) for $60 million.

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Athletics directors are generally judged on how their football and basketball coaches perform, and despite being in the role for just three years, Thomas has hired new coaches in both sports: Tim Beckman and John Groce.

Beckman's Illini football teams have performed poorly in his two years at the helm, posting a 6-18 record with just one Big Ten win, though Beckman did double the team's win total from his first year to his second.

John Groce's first season leading the Illinois basketball program was considered a success, as the Illini made the NCAA tournament and advanced to the round of 32. This season, his second, has had its ups and downs so far.