Illinois fires head coach Bill Cubit
Illinois announced Saturday the dismissal of football coach Bill Cubit.
The decision follows Cubit’s first and only season as head coach, in which Illinois went 5–7 and 2–6 in the Big Ten. New athletic director Josh Whitman made the announcement the in his first day on the job.
Cubit took over in August after Tim Beckman was fired while under investigation “relating to injury reporting and student athlete medical treatment.” His interim tag was removed Nov. 29, and he was given a two-year contract. Cubit will receive the approximately $985,000 remaining on his deal.
Players were reportedly not notified of the firing until after the press release was sent out.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit, Cubit’s son, was also dismissed. The other assistants will be allowed to interview under the next head coach.
“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.”
Illinois will delay spring football practices, scheduled to begin Friday, until a new head coach is in place.