Illinois adds search firm to the process.


 In seeking a replacement for retiring athletic director Ron Guenther, the University of Illinois has hired a search firm, the university confirmed Wednesday.

The school signed a contract with Parker Executive Search, a firm that specializes in college athletics.

Parker bills itself as "the world's leading executive search firm in collegiate athletics.'' The firm helped Bradley in landing athletic director Michael Cross and Geno Ford, hired as basketball coach this spring. Parker's list of recent engagements also included Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin, plus hires at Oregon, Vanderbilt, Northern Illinois and the NCAA office.

The search committee met for the first time Monday night. Illinois set a goal of filling the vacancy by July 1. Guenther's contract ends on June 30.