CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, agreeing to receive a contract extension and raise on Wednesday that will keep him in Champaign-Urbana until June 30, 2031 and potentially beyond. The three-year extension will bump his current salary up to $1.5 million, retroactive to July 1.
“Josh Whitman will be the third-longest serving athletic director in the Big Ten Conference by next summer,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones said in a release. “His thoughtful and decisive leadership has been a critical stabilizing force in both the Big Ten and here at Illinois through one of the most tumultuous and challenging periods in the history of collegiate athletics. This new contract ensures that his voice and vision will continue to guide our athletic programs here at Illinois for many years to come.”
Whitman will be eligible for bonuses and retention incentives, including two one-year extensions in 2024 and 2025 that could extend the end of the deal to June 30, 2033. The revised deal also reworks his buyouts, making it more difficult for Whitman to take another job.
“I would like to thank Chancellor Jones, President Killeen and our Board of Trustees for their unending support of my leadership and of Fighting Illini Athletics,” said Whitman in a statement. “It is truly an honor to be entrusted with the only job I’ve ever wanted: serving as athletic director at my alma mater. The progress we have made over these last seven-and-a-half years is rewarding, but much work remains as we strive to take this program to unprecedented heights. And throughout the journey, we will continue to focus all efforts on our central mission: pursuing championships while providing a life-changing student-athlete experience.”
The new deal will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting later this month on Nov. 16.