Illinois fires Bill Cubit

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on March 5th, 2016 at 12:03 PM…


Their new AD did this his first day on the job.

Their already-awful team will have spring practice delayed until they hire a coach per the release.


Illinois AD Josh Whitman fires head coach Bill Cubit on his first day on the job. Says stability was needed.

— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) March 5, 2016


turd ferguson

March 5th, 2016 at 12:22 PM ^

To me it just looks like a new AD who wants a permanent coach, selected by him, and wants to get the new guy in ASAP.  The AD released a statement that doesn't sound like the kind of statement he'd make if there's something ugly to the story.

I appreciate the leadership that Bill Cubit provided our football program during what has been, unquestionably, a very tumultuous time,” Whitman said. “He accepted the challenge on an interim basis under incredibly difficult and unusual circumstances, and he has continued to work diligently for the betterment of our student-athletes. Through his efforts, he has kept the program moving forward. Bill is a good man and a good football coach. All of us in the Illini Nation owe him a debt of gratitude for his work leading our team these last months. At this juncture, however, I think it is most important that we position our program for long-term success by creating a more stable environment for the coaches, players, and prospective student-athletes.


March 5th, 2016 at 12:08 PM ^

Something had to have happened, either that or Illinois has a Brandon-esque AD who has to make his mark. Either way this spells nothing good for the Illini.

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March 5th, 2016 at 12:11 PM ^

Not really sure how LOL this is. You have 100 18-22 year old kids that have no idea what's going on, who they're going to play for, and what may or may not lie ahead for them. I find it more sad than LOL.


March 5th, 2016 at 12:33 PM ^

In an article posted moments ago by the same author:

I know the people who read this will let me know why this happened. This just doesn’t make sense to me. Please, if you have some information let me know why this happening because I am terribly confused.

Early impression is that this is an AD that truly wants to impart their vision on Illinois athletics, but that's between a few comments and quick reads that are available. Either way, very sudden and kind of strange on the surface.

Leaders And Best

March 5th, 2016 at 12:17 PM ^

Illinois is shooting to be the first school to have the first yearlong coaching search. Take that Harbaugh with your satellite camps, Signing of the Stars, and spring football trips. Maybe Illinois can turn it into a yearlong reality show on BTN.

But seriously, why fire Cubit now? I can't imaging they can make a permanent hire this late in the coaching cycle. The release doesn't really offer any reason to belive that Cubit had done anything wrong.

Mr Miggle

March 5th, 2016 at 3:10 PM ^

It was the new AD's first day on the job. It's a move he had already decided on, but couldn't act any sooner. I find it odd the he also fired Cubit's son, but not any of the other assistants, including Jeff Hecklinski.

I wonder if they go after Greg Schiano. The timing is terrible for sprng practice, but maybe not so bad for finding a replacement. Illinois isn't competing with any other open jobs. They need that lack of competition.

Leaders And Best

March 5th, 2016 at 5:49 PM ^

The Illinois job is already a tough rebuilding job. Now you complicate it by trying to make the hire in March. Most assistants looking for jobs already have found new positions. How are you planning on luring them now in March? Assistants are not the only ones you need to hire: administrative personnel, recruiting, strength and conditioning. The new coach will not have the luxury of a year 1 recruiting class to address personnel he may need, and a rushed spring practice has the potential to put the rebuild a full year behind schedule. No one will care about this in year 3. They will just see that the new hire has had 3 losing seasons. Why risk your career on that kind of situation?

The only move that makes sense would be a currently unemployed head coach. Fine. But you are severely limiting your options by doing it this way. I would rather have sacrificed this year and planned for the next hire during the next 8 months (like OSU did in 2011).

Leaders And Best

March 5th, 2016 at 6:01 PM ^

Most hot coaching candidates would probably not touch this situation. Illinois was already a tough sell as a Power 5 job. The timing makes it even more unappealing.

Take DJ Durkin at Maryland for example. I don't know if he is going to be successful, but at least he has a fighting chance. He got hired early so he had several weeks during dead period to evaluate his new program and staff, hired some decent names as assistants, and had time to put together a recruiting class to get guys he felt he needed.

This new Illinois hire is walking into a program where he will not have the benefit of a recruiting class in year 1, doesn't know the roster or staff at all, and has to get spring practice started in the next couple weeks. Good luck with that.