Illinois fires head football coach Bill Cubit – Chicago Tribune

8 months ago Comments Off on Illinois fires head football coach Bill Cubit – Chicago Tribune

In his first official day on the job, Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman made a stunning move Saturday by announcing the firing of football coach Bill Cubit.

Whitman also announced John Groce will remain Illinois’ head basketball coach. 

Whitman, a former Illini football player, said the Cubit decision was based on “providing stability,” according to a news release.

“I appreciate the leadership that Bill Cubit provided our football program during what has been, unquestionably, a very tumultuous time,” Whitman said in a statement. “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.”

Cubit was named the interim head coach on Aug. 28 after former athletic director Mike Thomas fired Tim Beckman following an investigation into claims of player mistreatment. Cubit led Illinois to a 5-7 overall record and 2-6 mark in the Big Ten.

He was awarded with a two-year contract extension.

Offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit, Bill’s son, was also dismissed. Other coaches were told they will have the opportunity to interview with the next coach.

Whitman said spring football practice, which as slated to start on March 11, will be delayed until a new coach is named.

Cubit will receive about $985,000 as part of a buyout.

Whitman said he would name a new head coach as soon as possible.