The eight-member committee that has started searching for a new University of Illinois athletic director includes a professor, a coach and a university athlete.

Barbara Wilson is the interim chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus. She said Friday that she wants to hire someone to "restore the athletics program to a position of pride."

She did not say how soon the university hopes to have a replacement for Mike Thomas, who was fired in November after a series of complaints from athletes over treatment by coaches.

The committee includes soccer coach Janet Rayfield. A former soccer player has sued the university alleging she was improperly cleared to play after concussions.

The committee also includes animal sciences professor Matt Wheeler and softball player Nicole Evans.

A search firm may also be used.