Thomas heads to Big Ten

Bearcat Insider has confirmed with multiple sources at the University of Cincinnati that Mike Thomas is leaving for Illinois.

University of Cincinnati director of athletics Mike Thomas is leaving his post with the Bearcats to take over the athletic department at Illinois.

Thomas, who is a veteran of college athletics, came to Cincinnati from Akron on October 20, 2005. Since taking over at UC, Thomas has instituted his vision for the Bearcats athletics future called CATAPULT that focused on three main initiatives.

Winning Big East team championships

High-level academic achievement

Integration between the UC Campus and Greater Cincinnati

In 2006, Thomas was given the task of finding a new head football coach when Mark Dantonio left for Michigan State University. He found Brian Kelly at Central Michigan and watched the Bearcats football program reach new heights winning two Big East Championships and making back-to-back BCS Bowl games.

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