One on One with Ron Guenther

IlliniBoard.com's Kedric Prince had a chance to interview Illinois' Athletic Director Ron Guenther. <br><br> Read more in this article to see Ron Guenther's thoughts about various topics surrounding the Illinois Athletic Department from Assembly Hall's future to what he looks for when he is selecting a coach to represent the University of Illinois.

Question: Ron, the average fan thinks your only job is to hire coaches for the Athletic Department. What are some of the other duties of a Big Ten Athletic Director?

Ron Guenther:
  1. Manage the entire Athletic Department
  2. Key Liaison with Campus
  3. Raise Money
  4. Represent Illinois at Big Ten Conference and National meetings
Question: When you have to make a big decision for the University do you often call other Athletic Directors for their opinions?

Ron Guenther: Occasionally.

Question: When you are looking to hire a coach to represent the University of Illinois, what are the five key things you look for?

Ron Guenther:
  1. Honesty
  2. Personality
  3. Coaching Philosophy
  4. [Whether or not they are a] Player's Coach
  5. Institutional Fit
Question: What do you view as your greatest accomplishment during your tenure as Illinois' Athletic Director? Greatest disappointment?

Ron Guenther: Balancing the [Illinois Athletic Department's] budget and improving the facilities. [There have been] no real disappointments.

Question: Last year Assembly Hall was a hot topic amongst many Illinois basketball fans, what's the current status with it?

Ron Guenther: It is still under review.

Question: What's your opinion of experimenting with instant replay in the Big Ten for football?

Ron Guenther: [The Big Ten] should have done it five years ago.

Question: Do you ever sit down with current athletes and talk with them about the way things are going?

Ron Guenther: Yes.

Question: Last year the football team went 1-11; you're a big football fan, what do you think went wrong last season?

Ron Guenther: Graduation of seven NFL players and injuries/lost confidence.

Question: During the off-season how important is it that your coaches get out to meet the fans?

Ron Guenther: [It is very important, the coaches do this] through our out-reach programs.

Question: Last question. Do you ever read the Internet to see what the average fan has to say?
Ron Guenther: No.

Mr. Guenther, thanks for your time and Go Illini!


Illini Inquirer Top Stories