Josh Whitman, the new Illinois athletic director, has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the football team. He’s decided to fire head coach Bill Cubit on the first day of his duties.
Cubit was the Illinois head coach for a season. He said he made the decision in hopes of providing stability to the Fighting Illini football team.
“I appreciate the leadership that Bill Cubit provided our football program during what has ben, unquestionably, a very tumultuous time,” Whitman said. “He accepted the challenge on an interim basis under incredibly difficult and unusual circumstances, and he had 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.”
Cuba took over for Tim Beckman, who was fired in Aug. In Nov., Cubit agreed to a two-year extension.
The team’s spring game is slated for April 16th. So, Whitman would have to find a coach immediately and would have to get a home-run hire to make this firing feel right.
Ryan Cubit, Bill’s son, who was also the offensive coordinator, was also let go. All other coaches are expected to interview with their next head coach.
The Illini went 5-7 this season — and they won a game against an FBS team, who had a winning record. He was 51-47 in eight seasons at Western Michigan and 34-18-1 at Widener, a Division III football team, in the 1990s.
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