Shockingly, the 2015-16 spinning of the coaching carousel hasn’t come to the end as most had thought. Either that, or the 2016-17 spinning has commenced exceedingly early.
Regardless, Illinois stunned the college football world Saturday, March 5, by announcing that head football coach Bill Cubit has been dismissed by the program, Additionally, Cubit’s son, offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit, has been dismissed as well.
The unexpected moves come on Josh Whitman‘s first official day as the Illini’s athletic director. It also comes six days before the Illini were scheduled to open spring practice.
“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.”
Cubit was hired as the Illini’s interim head coach in late August upon the firing of Tim Beckman, who was unceremoniously shown the door in the midst of scandal. Three months later, Cubit had the interim tag removed and given a two-year contract.
It was also announced that spring practice will be pushed back until a new head coach is found.
Given the timing of the firing, it seems highly likely that Whitman either has a replacement either in mind or in his hip pocket. Just who that is remains to be seen.