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New Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman believes the school's teams have lost some of their identity over the past year of problems.

Whitman said at his introductory news conference Thursday he hopes to help restore that. He also promised a room packed with fans and staff that he plans to win.

The 37-year-old former Illinois and NFL player takes over a program that has seen football coach Tim Beckman fired over allegations he mistreated players. Women's basketball coach Matt Bollant still faces a lawsuit filed by former players over their treatment. The last AD, Mike Thomas, was fired in November.

Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson says she knew during their first interview that Whitman should be the new AD.

Whitman will be paid $600,000 a year in base salary.

>>Wash U Says Whitman "A Winner"

Washington University in St. Louis was long known for three things: academics, academics and academics.

New Illini Athletic Director Josh Whitman changed that during his time running the school's athletic programs. While the athletic programs fared well with wins and losses, Washington University play by play voice Jay Murry says Whitman helped put them on the map.

Murry says you won't catch Whitman being behind the times.

Murry also discussed Whitman jumping from Division III athletics to big time Division I sports.

Murry says whoever made the decision to hire Whitman made the best decision in their career.

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