"It's a thrill and really a dream come true," Michael said. "We've been working at this for a long time, and really ever since I've had the opportunity to get involved in college athletics 18 years ago as an administrator and from a professional standpoint - this has been the goal."
Michael has worked in the University of Illinois athletic department since 1996, most recently as senior associate athletic director. He currently oversees the State Farm Center renovation project.
“I am very excited for Tom and his family as he takes on this outstanding opportunity as Director of Athletics at Eastern Illinois University," Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said in a statement. "Tom has a long history at the University of Illinois as both a student-athlete and administrator, and has played an integral part in many of the success stories during his tenure. He has worked very hard over his career with this goal in mind, and it is very satisfying to see Tom get this position. I’ll be working with Tom and his staff during this transition to ensure we don’t miss a beat with the State Farm Center project and other areas of his responsibilities. I wish him nothing but the best of luck as he moves in to lead EIU athletics.”
Michael replaces Barbara Burke, who left to become the deputy athletic director at Tulane. He will be introduced a news conference Tuesday, July 22. His first day on the job will be August 11.
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