CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman announced on Wednesday he has fired Mike Turk. The Illini director of men’s and women’s track and field and cross country programs had been at Illinois since 2006, starting as an assistant, then working his way up to head coach before assuming the role of program director in 2020.

“I want to thank Coach Turk for his longtime service to the University of Illinois,” Whitman said in a statement. “Regrettably, following our Big Ten championship in 2015, competitive success in our men’s and women’s programs has been fleeting. With the programs now combined under a single coaching structure and with the recent opening of Demirjian Park, the time is right to usher in a new era for our proud running and field event programs. We wish Coach Turk all the best in his future endeavors.”

Turk guided Illinois to four Big Ten runner-up finishes, to go along with the 2015 Outdoor Big Ten Championship. The school announced a national search for his replacement will begin immediately.