Blog Entry

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 2:06 pm
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Posted by Tom Fornelli

After starting the 2011 season with six straight victories and being ranked, Illinois lost its final six games of the season to finish at 6-6 and it seems the collapse has cost head coach Ron Zook his job.

According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Cody Westerlund, Zook was reportedly fired on Sunday morning. The school made it official with a release on Sunday afternoon.

"I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership," said Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas in a release. "It is imperative that our program shows some consistency and competes for championships, and I think a change in coaches can help us get there sooner. I wasn't here seven years ago when Ron Zook took over as coach, but it's clear the program is in better shape than what he inherited. I believe we need new leadership to take the program to the level to compete for championships on a consistent basis. This is an extremely competitive conference, and we are determined to go head-to-head with the very best."

Current Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has been named as the team's interim head coach.

Zook spent seven seasons with Illinois, going 34-51 in that span. The high point of his time in Champaign came in 2007 when the Illini finished the season 9-4 and went to the Rose Bowl and lost to USC. Illinois' only other bowl appearance under Zook came last season when it beat Baylor in the Texas Bowl.
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Comments

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

free_safety, "cancer to the big 10"?  There are thousands of ignorant, off base comments posted to these pages everyday. But your cancer to the big 10 statement is useless.  If anything, OSU has been a cancer with the tatoo for gifts fiasco.

Yes, the Illini football team was mistake prone, but so has every other team. These are student athletes, not paid professionals. Think before you type. You may come off as sounding like you know what your talking about.  Not so, in this particular post.

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easy buddy.  read the whole thing.  i said the university, the fans the A.D. of Illini are all assets to the big 10.  i love illinois.   I was referring specifically to the QUALITY of play with regards to fundamentals, focus, and tecnique of the fb team.   i watched illinois a lot this year.   they are student athletes.  it is not too much to ask that they be able to not line up offsides, not false start 5 times a game, and have a basic awareness of the clock.  zook is not a smart coach and does not pay attention to detail.  it shows in the play of his team.  just callin a spade a spade.  you can get mad at me, but it is true.  be thrilled zook is gone.



Since: Nov 20, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:24 pm
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Illini Nation better wake up!  Apparently you all have forgotten the fact that we the fighting illini have been to 16 bowl games since 1947 (17 after this year) and Zook is responsible for 3 of those games...Or the 8 seasons with 5 wins or less with Turner...Or the winless 1997 season...YOU HAVE ALL LOST YOUR MIND...Illinois football was on serious life support when Zook took over as the coach.  Zook resurrected the program and turned it around significantly...Is it frustrating to lose close games because of some bad coaching..YES it is...but at least they are close games now and not blow outs....This was a serious mistake....




Since: Jan 16, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

free_safety, "cancer to the big 10"?  There are thousands of ignorant, off base comments posted to these pages everyday. But your cancer to the big 10 statement is useless.  If anything, OSU has been a cancer with the tatoo for gifts fiasco.

Yes, the Illini football team was mistake prone, but so has every other team. These are student athletes, not paid professionals. Think before you type. You may come off as sounding like you know what your talking about.  Not so, in this particular post.



Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Some would say he overcompensated for that lack of respect by kicking "pro-style" quarterbacks (Jacob Charest) to the curb.  They need a no-nonsense goombah or a "ski" to right the ship.



Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

bring in mike leach!



Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:42 am
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Good!   Illinois has been a cancer to the big 10 (not the university, actual players on the team or the fans:  all of those are great) in terms of the mistake prone, undisciplined style of play.    for the people who 'feel bad' for zooK, dont, it was a very high job, he got paid, and the results were just so so?  had you ever seen a team that makes so many penalties and errors?



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:23 am
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Zook worked hard for the Illini, never embarassed the school with his personal life, and recruited well - but, his gameday coaching was limited to the enthusiasm he brought to the sidelines. He will land on his feet, because thats what guys like him do. He will seel himself to an AD just like he sold the Illini program in HS living rooms. If he ever does stop coaching, he'd make a bunch of dough as a motivational speaker. Good luck, Coach Zook, but it is time to move forward for the Illini.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:21 am
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Zook is a man that doesn't recognize his talents.   He either needs to be a "Mack Brown" (i.e.-hire the best OC, DC, and Assistants) and administrate and recruit, or actually move into administration.   He's proven he can bring in talent (Florida won 2 NC's mostly with his talent) but he can't coach a lick...   In fact-I'd love for him to be in Stillwater, we need someone to recruit DEFENSE (what we used to be known for-) to actually provide us with a team to fear rather than a team to fear outscoring...



Since: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:08 am
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Racer, you cannot even compare Bruce Weber and Ron Zook in terms of success. Bruce Weber has had the 6th best career winning percentage of any coach in Big Ten history who has coached for more than 8 years. He also has the most wins of any coach in Big Ten history after 8 years. Ron Zook, on the other hand, had a 34-51 record. I don't see any similarities in terms of success.

Anyway, I feel bad for Zook. He is a good man, but a poor coach. I'm partial to Paul Chryst at Wisconsin or maybe Mike Leach as Zook's replacement. 



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:06 am
 

Illinois fires Ron Zook

Lol..thing is..doesn't take a whole lot to be an Illinois grad..what did you expect?


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