Archive for November 27th, 2011

Illinois Ends Zook Era after Seven Season

Posted on November 27, 2011. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , |

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois coach Ron Zook has been fired after seven seasons, athletic director Mike Thomas announced Sunday.

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

Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning takes over as interim coach.

Illinois opened this season 6-0, then finished with six straight losses, including a 27-7 defeat at Minnesota on Saturday.

Zook is 34-51 at Illinois. He took the 2007 team to the Rose Bowl and lost to USC. Last season’s squad beat Baylor in the Texas Bowl.

Thomas said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.

“We will begin the process of finding a new coach as soon as possible,” Thomas said. “Obviously, we have some hiring policies and regulations to follow, and some candidates may be involved with their own teams and bowl preparations, but I expect to move forward quickly.”

The Illini could still go to a bowl game. It would be their first back-to-back bowl appearances since 1991 and ’92.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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2011 Basketball Illini vs Cougars

Posted on November 27, 2011. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , |

Illinois is now 10-0 lifetime in this particular matchup, but this is head coach Tracy Dildy’s first meeting… Can he turn it around and get the Cougars on the road for lots of victories?

Unfortunately, not today, as the Fighting Illini knock off the Chicago State Cougars 90-43. After dominating the first half with a commanding 44-19 lead (51.7%), the team continued their balanced attack shooting 56.5% from the field.

Coach Weber shared with us after the game “I just told the guys to play well and play hard.”

Myke Henry led the team with his personal best of 14 points and grabbing three boards. This all took place after missing four games due to injury. Four of his teammates were also in double digit territory: Meyers Leonard, D.J. Richardson and Nnanna Egwu all had 11, while Tyler Griffey had 10.

“We were in (game) shape but we really weren’t” said a smile Henry after the game talking about his transition from high school to college. “Once we got going and started to get a feel for it. We got better and better.”

Weber shared his thoughts about Henry “that he comes to play. He has no fear.”

It’s safe to say that the team didn’t have jet lag nor were they going to let up after winning the Cancun Challenge title early this week.

As for Chicago State, they shot 34% (first half 34.81%) from the field and were led by Jeremy Robinson who had 14 points.

But as previously stated, the buzz on press row was about the firing of football coach Ron Zook after seven seasons. Official announcement will be made at 4:15pm at the Squad Room of the Illinois Football Complex. For more information on this story visit http://t.co/zTRPtjMU.

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