A search that's taken months might finally be coming to an end.
According to a Tuesday-night report from CBS Chicago's Ryan Baker, Illinois will name Josh Whitman its new athletics director.
— Ryan Baker (@RyanBakerMedia) February 17, 2016
Whitman is currently the athletics director at Washington University in St. Louis but has deep ties to Illinois. Whitman played as a tight end for the Illini football team for four years, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors his senior season, Academic All-Big Ten honors three times and Illinois’ Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete award three years in a row. He graduated from the university in 2001 and returned to work in various capacities in the Illinois athletics department from 2005 to 2008 while also earning his law degree in Champaign.
Between his college career and his time working at Illinois, he pursued a professional football career with four different NFL teams.
Whitman has worked as Washington's AD since August 2014, which followed a four-year tenure as the athletics director at Wisconsin-La Crosse.
[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Fighting Illini gear right here]
Illinois is still in need of a new athletics director following Mike Thomas' departure back in November after a complete report revealed ugly details of the behavior of former head football coach Tim Beckman.
It wasn't until a full month after Thomas' departure that the school even announced that a search for a new athletics director was underway, with interim chancellor Barbara Wilson announcing that a search committee of faculty members and others with university ties would be conducting the search. Two weeks after that, the school announced the search firm Korn Ferry would help with the search for Thomas' replacement.
And during the process, one report described the search's dysfunction, with candidates contacted via their university email addresses, vetting done in atypical fashion and interest impacted due to Wilson's interim status.
Whitman was reported as one of the seven candidates Illinois was interviewing earlier this month.