Former SIU athletic director named interim AD at the University of Illinois

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Paul Kowalczyk was named interim athletic director at University of Illinois on Monday. 

The hiring came after the university fired Mike Thomas earlier the same day. Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said the release was a no-cause dismissal.

Kowalcyzk served as U. of I.’s senior associate athletic director and has been with the university since 2012. His salary will increase from $140,595 to $295,000, according to The News Gazette. 


Kowalcyzk was the athletic director at SIU from 2000 to 2006 and was responsible for hiring former football coach Jerry Kill. He was former basketball coach Bruce Weber’s boss at SIU from 2000-03 before then-Illinois AD Ron Guenther brought Weber to Illinois. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brentmeskeDE