It's all comin up 2020.
We've heard this has been in the works for a while now, but I've been holding my breath because Jim Phillips is purportedly a hot target on an AD market featuring Illinois. But the ink is dry, and Phillips is now under contract with Northwestern until, well, the same year Pat Fitzgerald's contract expires, making the teens the decade of Fitz n' Phillips.
Dr. Jim has pretty much done everything asked of him since coming to Northwestern in 2008. (Kind of like me, except I haven't done most things asked of me.) He's put a huge emphasis on marketing, presided over competitive football and basketball teams, and made strengthening NU's ties with their current head coaches a priority. It's only fair he now gets his ties strengthened, getting a contract extension similar to the ones he got coaches Pat Fitzgerald and Bill Carmody. Some argue that his patience with Carmody has been a little bit too forgiving, but we'll see how things pan out in the 2011-2012 season, after which Phillips will probably re-evaluate his decision to keep Carmody around. He's also made a big point of having a facilities plan which we'll hear about in the coming months, with big things supposedly on the horizon. It can all only help.
Phillips has been lucky to have had fairly placid times: the teams have been fairly successful, and he's capitalized with a series of off-field moves to get NU in the spotlight. It's a good time for NU sports and Phillips has made the most of it. Not to come off too gushy, but I'm hard pressed to find a decision Philips has made that I'm genuinely displeased with. I mean, well, he never seems to remember who I am when I meet him, so there's that, but, other than that, he's done well.
I think we can all agree - well, except for the one of us who will most likely make his presence felt in the comments - that we're glad to hear this. Phillips is passionate about Northwestern - peep the purple garb and him yelling stuff at sporting events, and you'll see - and hopefully will continue doing what he's been doing.