Josh Whitman took over in February 2016, and he has changed the trajectory of Illinois Athletics in the 26 months since. Whitman hired Lovie Smith, Brad Underwood, Chris Tamas, started renovations on the indoor football facility and has changed the attitude associated with the Illini (for the most part).
Whitman’s efforts, which started when he was the youngest Athletic Director at any Power Five school, were on display Wednesday night when he was honored with SportsBusiness Journal/Daily’s Forty Under 40 Award in the Class of 2018 at an event in Los Angeles.
“I am honored to be included in this year’s SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 class,” Whitman said. “Since I was in my early 20s, I have looked forward each year to the announcement of the class and learning about each honoree’s accomplishments. To now be included in such company is both surreal and humbling. Any recognition that comes my way is a reflection of the incredible work undertaken by our entire staff, our coaches, our student-athletes, and our passionate Illini Nation. I am privileged to represent the University of Illinois and Fighting Illini Athletics, and this award is a testament to the program we are building together.
In other Josh Whitman news, he announced on Twitter last week that he and his wife Hope are expecting their second in July.
On a day when others are joining the #ILLINI family by signing their NLIs, proud to announce that Hope and I will be adding another #ILLINI this summer...a baby boy! ETA late July. The #ILLINI heart is beating strong! #BeautifulMom #ProudDad pic.twitter.com/TvEgb70kis— Josh Whitman (@IlliniAD) April 11, 2018
His mantra is “We Will Win.” Josh Whitman certainly is winning — now it’s the Illini’s turn.