The Chicago Tribune reported that new IL athletic director Josh Whitman met with Smith on Sunday. He not only brings football expertise, but will help young men grow and have their best interest at heart.
On Saturday, Whitman said firing Cubit was a step toward creating stability in IL athletics.
Whitman said he was obligated to tell Cubit first and knew that once he did, word would spread far faster than he’d be able to pull the players together.
The lawsuit against women’s basketball coach Matt Bollant, Thomas and the university is ongoing. He’ll also have two offensive center pieces to work with in senior quarterback Wes Lunt and sophomore running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Chayce Crouch, their quarterback, tweeted that it is “crazy” he has to refresh his Twitter feed to receive updates on his football team. Lovie is a great defensive coordinator, but mediocre head coach. Beckman recruited him after he was sacked from the head coach position at Western Michigan University in 2013.
When Smith finally stepped in front of the Big Ten Network cameras in the afternoon, the Illini backers in the packed room applauded a man at peace making his first public comments since the Buccaneers fired him January 7. “We’ve lived in the state of IL as long as any other place”. Yes, Ron Turner led the Illini to the Sugar Bowl in 2001, and then Ron Zook’s Illini went to the Rose Bowl in 2007, but overall their tenures weren’t successful. Ryan Cubit will also be paid a remainder of his contract, approximately $361,000.
Whitman made the move to dismiss Cubit, saying immediate stability was needed for program that has not had a winning season since 2011. IL has now sacked Cubit just a couple months after granting him the big chair.
“I am extremely excited to be named head coach of the Fighting Illini“, Smith said in the school-issued statement.
The future Hall of Fame coach has some glowing praise for Lovie Smith. He was hired by Cubit at WMU in 2012. He was released last season by the Bucs.
Smith has not worked in college football since serving as defensive backs coach for Ohio State in 1995. You just don’t see schools firing their football coach in March all that often. IL was 2-6 in the Big Ten Conference, which resulted in a tie for fifth place in the West division.
Smith has been known for being strong-minded in defense.
Holocek has been dealing with players, parents and college coaches with the recruiting process over the past decade.
Smith’s name is well-known in the state, having been the Chicago Bears’ coach from 2004-12, with an 81-63 record and a Super Bowl appearance in the 2006 season.