BREAKING: Illinois fires coach Bill Cubit
Illini fans wondered how quickly new athletic director Josh Whitman would make a decision on Bill Cubit’s future.
Apparently very quickly.
The school announced that it fired Cubit on the same day that Whitman officially took over as athletic director.
“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.”
Apparently the decision wasn’t known by the staff or players until today.
Whitman told Cubit about 30 minutes ago. Staff is in complete shock.
— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) March 5, 2016
Love finding out about this through Twitter. https://t.co/vl1TD6qVVq
— Mikey Dudek (@MDFlash_7) March 5, 2016
Cubit took over the program a week before the start of the 2015 season after Tim Beckman was fired because of a player mistreatment scandal. The university shed his interim tag before the last game of the season and signed him to a two-year contract.
Just over three months later, it will be moving on from Cubit. He was 5-7 in his one season at the helm. Offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit was also fired. The other assistants will have an opportunity to interview with the new head coach.
Spring practice, which was scheduled to begin on March 11, will be delayed until a new coach is hired.
Whitman will address the media on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.