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Illinois Hires Cincinatti A.D. to Replace Guenther
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- New Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas says the school has strong facilities and a strong foundation for sports success.

Thomas was introduced as the new AD during a news conference Wednesday.

The 51-year-old Thomas comes to Illinois after running Cincinnati's athletics program since 2005. He hired football coach Brian Kelly, who led the team to a 34-6 record and two Big East titles before he left for Notre Dame.

Thomas will replace Ron Guenther, who retired this summer.

Among the issues facing Thomas are plans to expand Assembly Hall. Many Illinois fans have also complained about the men's basketball team's performance the past two seasons.

Football coach Ron Zook has also been getting his share of criticism because of his team's performance.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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