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Updated: Ron Zook out at Illinois

Ron Zook, Jerry Kill AP

The good news for Illinois coach Ron Zook is that he won’t have to answer any more questions about his job; the bad news is that it’s because he’s been fired.

The Champaign News-Gazette reports that Zook was fired this morning following the Illini’s 27-7 loss to Minnesota yesterday. The school later confirmed the report.

Yesterday’s loss marked the end of a stunning collapse for Illinois, who started the season 6-0 but lost their final six games to end the season at 6-6. Although bowl eligible, the Big Ten’s bowl selection process doesn’t guarantee the Illini will make a bowl. If nothing else, no Big Ten team has degenerated so quickly over the second half of the season as Illinois, which can be used against them when bowls make their selection.

The school has released the following statement from AD Mike Thomas:

“I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership. 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.” 

Thomas added that Zook will receive $1.3 million for the next two years as part of his buyout.  Vic Koenning will fill in as interim head coach. Zook is 34-50 overall in seven seasons at Illinois.

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7 Responses to “Updated: Ron Zook out at Illinois”
  1. lbijake says: Nov 27, 2011 4:01 PM


  2. zurnvs says: Nov 27, 2011 4:05 PM

    This was just a matter of time after their last six games and the way this season end.

  3. frug says: Nov 27, 2011 4:37 PM

    You won’t have the Zooker to kick around anymore.

  4. florida727 says: Nov 27, 2011 6:00 PM

    Interesting dynamics here. Start out with 6 wins. End with 6 losses. Aside from maybe the level of competition played, you have to wonder what else behind-the-scenes may have changed. Good luck Zooker wherever you coach next.

  5. 27xwschamps says: Nov 28, 2011 3:37 AM

    Only winning record against Big 10 team… Indiana !!!! U stole alot o money from ILL..U should be ashamed o your self😢

  6. notsosmartski says: Nov 28, 2011 4:55 AM

    Stole? Stole is a harsh word. The players play the game. The college/program is the draw. Zook worked as hard as any coach in the league. Enough said.

  7. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Nov 28, 2011 7:34 PM

    @ notsosmartski

    If colleges were really the draw than Arizona State would win a glass football every year. I can’t imagine a better place to party and enjoy college especially with the girls on campus. But tons of schools in crappy towns get great players Eugene, OR & Norman, OK & Detroit, MI sorry I meant Ann Arbor and of course my personal favorite middle of no where school Va Tech.

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