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Teddy Greenstein: AD Jim Phillips, Northwestern Working on contract extension

When Ron Guenther left Illinois, there was some serious hubbub about what could become of Jim Phillips. Dr. Jim has done a pretty spectacular job in Evanston, and this was around the same time Northwestern had extended Pat Fitzgerald until 2020.

Well, per Teddy Greenstein at the Tribune (who is right about such things damn near 100 percent of the time), we needn't worry:

Northwestern officials and Jim Phillips are making progress on a new contract that will keep the athletic director in Evanston through 2020, sources told the Tribune.

I think this is pretty good news regardless of which way you look at it. My boy Colin Becht wrote a column for the Daily about this last quarter, and I agree with him.  I feel like while the onus for on-field success of a program rests on the coaches, the AD is responsible for pretty much everything else, and in those categories - increased visibility, attendance trending upwards - Phillips has done all he can, from the Wrigley game to billboards everywhere. That increased presence will only help Fitz and Bill Carmody recruit more prominent players - after a few years here in Evanston, I think it's clear Phillips has been the right guy for the job and hopefully he'll continue to keep the ball rolling. Even the "fire INSERT COACH NAME HERE" crowd should be pleased with this news.