Illinois AD Ron Guenther Stepping Down In June After 19 Years
Univ. of Illinois AD Ron Guenther yesterday announced that he will retire upon the completion of his contract on June 30. Guenther's 19-year run at Illinois makes him the Big Ten's longest-tenured AD. He also has served as a member of the BCS Football Committee, the Bowl Certification Committee and the NCAA Championship Cabinet (Illinois). In Illinois, Jeff Huth in a front-page piece notes Guenther was working on a six-month contract, and said that he "declined the option to sign a two-year extension." Guenther, 65, said, "I still feel like I have a lot of energy and a lot to still give. But at the same time, 19 years is a long time to be doing what I'm doing." He said that his "retirement date is firm and that he would not stay on if a successor isn't in place by then." Interim UI Chancellor Robert Easter, "charged with making a recommendation to UI President Michael Hogan on a new AD, will step down once his own successor is chosen later this summer." Guenther, who reports to Easter, indicated that he "wanted the search for his successor to take place while his boss was still on the job." While retiring from this job, Guenther said that he "won't be retiring from the workplace." Huth notes there has been "speculation that he'll continue to have some role in the planned renovation of the Assembly Hall, perhaps as a fundraiser." Guenther said, "I'm going to do something else. I just don't know what that will be yet" (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 5/17). UI College of Business Dean Larry DeBrock "has agreed to chair the search committee" (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 5/17). ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg wrote Guenther's "greatest accomplishments came as a fundraiser, as he made numerous facilities upgrades, including the $121 million makeover for Memorial Stadium, the largest construction project in school history" (ESPN.com, 5/16).