Western Illinois University has added a new Athletics Director to the Roster. Tommy Bell is now a part of the Leatherneck family. Bell enthusiastically shared with me some of his general plans for WIU Athletics.
Bell has been making a great transition into WIU. He finds working at Western is a “unique opportunity.” Bell has a very competitive spirit; he has come in with the mindset of winning. Leatherneck Athletics are expected to accomplish great things this year under Bell.
“Ideally, I want (WIU) in the top half, 5th or above in all sports.” This goal is certainly attainable, especially when the department has a director as determined as Bell. He also shared plans of finishing upgrades to Hanson Field. He was excited to share that the video screens that have made appearances at this year’s home football games are on trial run and will hopefully be permanent next year. The screens are used to show game-goers plays; these will also be used for other events such as graduations and other events in Western Hall.
Bell is also looking forward to the installation of a new wood floor in Western Hall, beginning in June 2014. “We want to make improvements that will help all programs,” explained Bell. A new wood floor would not only benefit athletes and Athletics, but it would also benefit graduates as commencement is held in Western Hall twice a year.
As our interview came to a close, Bell stated, “My administration’s number one focus is first and foremost on academics. We want our student-athletes to do well in the classroom and focus on graduating and getting degrees as well as winning.”
Bell has settled in, and at the top of his to-do list, he wants to “meet and greet as many alumni supporters as possible.” So if you happen to be here in Macomb, or at one of the many away games, don’t hesitate to say hello to Mr. Bell; he is more than happy to speak with you!