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Mike Thomas Up For Extension

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The Illinois athletic director's contract will be discussed by the University trustees Thursday.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas, who's been on the job since fall of 2011,  will be up for an extension at Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting, according to the Champaign News-Gazette.

Thomas's current employment contract is set to expire Aug. 28, 2016.

"He's been here for two-plus year already. There was an option to extend (his contract) and I feel, and I've consulted with several people, we feel he's been doing a wonderful job," Chancellor Phyllis Wise told the News-Gazette Wednesday.

"He's developed his teams of coaches and his advancement team. They have really paid attention to the student part of student-athlete. He was able to get the State Farm Center gift. He's been all around the state. He's tireless."

That's high praise from the Chancellor, and all indications are that the extension will happen.

Thomas fired Bruce Weber, Ron Zook, and Jolette Law in his first year on the job, if you recall. He appears to have snagged a dynamite coach in Groce, and Bollant's injected some new life in the women's basketball program.

Of course, the jury's still out on Tim Beckman, and the success or failure of the football program in the coming years may determine the type of extension Thomas gets the next time this discussion rolls around.

For now, Thomas is here to stay.