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State

Illinois State University athletic director quits

NORMAL (AP) — Illinois State University Athletic Director Gary Friedman unexpectedly resigned Monday with three years left on his contract, saying the job wasn't a good fit for him.

Friedman will be replaced by longtime Illinois State administrator Larry Lyons, the school said in a news release.

Friedman will step down June 30 and, under an agreement with the school, will be paid a year's salary — $206,000 — plus $70,000 for expenses, ISU spokesman Jay Groves said.

"It simply was not the right fit," Friedman said in the news release, without elaboration. "We have implemented several positive initiatives to enhance the student-athlete and fan experience at ISU and achieved great results, and I look forward to following the Redbirds' continued success."

Friedman took the job in May 2011, coming from an administrative position at the University of Louisville

The university noted that under Friedman, it started a $25 million expansion of 50-year-old Hancock Stadium.

"I want to thank Gary for his tireless service to Illinois State University, the local community and the Missouri Valley Conference," ISU President Al Bowman said.

Lyons has been with Illinois State for 26 years and is currently deputy director of Intercollegiate Athletics. He was interim director of athletics in spring of 2011, just before Friedman was hired.

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