From 1994-98, I was a student at the University of Illinois, and during those four years I saw a grand total of 14 football victories.
But then there’s the University of Illinois, the sadsack program of the prairie whose last three head football coaches can now be found at Florida International University (Ron Turner), the University of Buffalo (Lou Tepper) and, well, the coaching unemployment line (Ron Zook).
We don’t really know what Ron Zook is up to these days.
Zook, who was fired last year after seven seasons in Champaign, left the Illinois football program in far better shape than he found it.
On Thursday, the bad case of Illini indigestion was finally relieved when Ohio University’s John Groce was announced as the 17th men’s head coach in Illinois history during a press conference at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Down in Champaign at the state’s flagship school, the football program is listing, which is why Toledo’s Tim Beckman was brought in to right a ship that Ron Zook wrecked after a 6-0 start to the season.
Twenty years ago, after compiling a sterling 30-16-1 record on the football field at that “basketball school” down in Champaign, University of Illinois coach John Mackovic bolted the Land of Lincoln for the gridiron riches of the Lone Star State.
Toledo head football coach Tim Beckman has reportedly emerged as the favorite to replace Ron Zook at Illinois.
Illinois has extended the application period for candidates for its head football coaching position until late Thursday night.
I happen to think the Illinois football job offers as much potential as any in the country. Much like, you know, the University of Wisconsin job offered Alvarez two decades ago when he took it over and transformed the Badgers into a snarling, bare-knuckled national power.
In the wake of the firing of head football coach Ron Zook, the team is meeting Tuesday to decide whether or not it will accept a bowl invitation.
After firing Ron Zook Sunday, the Illini have started searching for their next head coach.
When it comes to the reasons why Illinois’ seventh-year head football coach held on to his job for so long and why he finally lost it on Sunday morning, I can boil Zook’s problems down to just four.
Illinois coach Ron Zook was fired Sunday after the Illini followed a 6-0 start to this season with a six-game losing streak.
I’m sure that Mike Thomas has his own list of names who he’d like to see as his coach at Illinois. But my advice is this: Aim high.
In Ron Zook’s defense, he warned them.
Police are searching for the gunman who shot three people, including an Illini football player, at a weekend party near the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.
Terry Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune joined The McNeil and Spiegel Show to break down college football.
Illinois rolled through its first six games with big plays, comebacks and happy endings, landing a spot in the Top 25 with a perfect start.
Above everything else on Saturday, as Illinois fans trudged out of Memorial Stadium, they were again reminded of the cold, hard truth that Ron Zook is not a big-time football coach.
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