Illinois has determined to maneuver on from Lovie Smith with this system firing its coach Sunday. Smith simply concluded his fifth season teaching the Illini and has formally been relieved of his duties by athletic director Josh Whitman.
Whitman stated “a nationwide search to establish Coach Smith’s successor” will start instantly. Smith is not going to coach Illinois’ remaining recreation of the season.
The Smith rent didn’t play out as Illinois hoped when it introduced the longtime NFL head coach and 9-12 months chief of the Chicago Bears to Champaign, Illinois, in hopes of turning across the football program. Smith went 17-39 in five seasons with a ten-33 mark in Large Ten play with only one bowl look, a loss in the 2019 Redbox Bowl to complete 6-7 on the season.
Illinois by no means completed with a successful Large Ten record in Smith’s five seasons and completed last in the Large Ten West division twice (2017, 2018).
Saturday’s 28-10 loss at in-state rival Northwestern was probably the ultimate straw, driving residence frustration for Illinois followers as Smith has been unable to beat the Wildcats. The Illini’s six-recreation shedding streak in the collection started earlier than he took over this system. Pat Fitzgerald has misplaced simply 4 occasions to Illinois since 2006, and three of these losses got here to Ron Zook.
Illinois has expectations of the place it desires to be in opposition to the remainder of the Large Ten, nevertheless it’s robust to begin assembly these expectations once you’re persistently on the shedding finish in opposition to your in-state rival. Now, the Illini will start a training search hoping to seek out the person who will be capable to flip round its fortunes.