FAU Director Of Athletics Patrick Chun linked to open Illinois position

University of Illinois made decision to go with alternative choice


(L to R) Junior beach volleyball player Beth Shoaff, University President John Kelly, Christine E. Lynn, Dick Schmidt, Barbara Schmidt and Head Athletic Director Patrick Chun stand with a gift from athletics thanking Lynn for her $5 million donation. Chun, who previously worked at Ohio State, was a finalist for the athletic director job at Illinois. Ryan Lynch | Multimedia Editor

Chris Libreros, Contributing Writer

Patrick Chun, Florida Atlantic’s director of athletics, was recently targeted for an opening at the University of Illinois as a candidate for a position of the same name.

On Tuesday, the University of Illinois announced that the director of athletics at Washington University in St. Louis, Josh Whitman, will fill the position.

Whitman, who played football for the University of Illinois from 1997 to 2000, is familiar with the university’s athletic department from his time as assistant to the former director of athletics, Ron Guenther, from 2005 to 2008.

Chun also had a relationship with the university from his days spent working in the department of athletics at Ohio State with John Groce, the current men’s basketball head coach at Illinois.

During Chun’s 15-year tenure at Ohio State, Groce served as an assistant coach for the Ohio State men’s basketball team from 2005 to 2008 under head coach Thad Matta. That team clinched a national championship berth and a second place finish in 2007, as well as a National Invitation Tournament championship in 2008.

Chun, currently serving in his fourth year as the director of athletics, has focused much of his time at FAU to improving the academics of student-athletes, recording several new academic highs in the school’s history.

In the 2014-2015 academic year, Owls’ student-athletes collectively achieved a 2.92 grade point average, the highest in FAU’s 55-year history. Under Chun, 51.5 percent of the university’s student-athletes earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, another university all-time high.

Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.