Illinois is extending its contract with athletics director Josh Whitman, the school announced Thursday.

The extension is significant, as it extends Whitman’s contract through June 30, 2031.

Whitman has served as Illinois’ athletics director since February 2016 and under his tenure, Illinois teams have made 82 NCAA postseason appearances, and 22 of those teams have finished in the top 16 nationally and 7 have finished in the nation’s top 4.

Whitman released a letter regarding his extension, speaking to the expectation that he sets for himself and for the athletics department — one that he plans to continue fulfilling moving forward.

“I am, of course, well positioned to speak on that expectation: as a two-time graduate and football letterwinner, the University of Illinois has permanently altered the course of my life,” Whitman said in the letter. “The friendships I have forged here, the experiences I have gained, and the memories I have made have molded me into the person I am today. It appears this relationship will only continue to deepen, as this afternoon the University announced that the Board of Trustees will consider a meaningful extension to my employment agreement. The new contract would keep me in this position through 2031, and hopefully beyond. I could not be more humbled, more grateful, and more energized.”

Illinois’ football team currently sits a 3-5 on the season, looking to pickup a few signature wins before the end of the season. Whitman’s extension also comes right as basketball season is gearing to tip off. The Fighting Illini are set to tip off their season in just a few days. Last season, Illinois finished 20-13 with an NCAA Tournament appearance.