Bill Cubit took over as Illinois’ head football coach a week before this season after the sudden firing of Tim Beckman, who reportedly mistreated players, and the university rewarded Cubit yesterday with a two-year deal to stay on as head coach.
However, speaking to reporters, including Jeremy Werner of Scout.com, Illinois interim AD Paul Kowalczyk did not sound entirely optimistic about the hiring, calling it “not ideal.”
“Obviously, it’s not ideal but for now, I don’t think it’ll put a dagger in the heart of the program,” Kowalczyk said. “The program’s too strong. Bill’s recruited. There’s not going to be any stoppage in what he’s doing, in what he’s trying to accomplish. We’ll just try to keep things moving in a positive direction.”
Wow. Way to give the coach confidence, right? Granted, Kowalczyk’s opinion doesn’t matter that much since he’s only the AD on an interim basis, but what’s his beef with Cubit? The deal only pays Cubit $1.2 million a year and the Illini went 5-7 (2-6 Big Ten) under his watch. Considering how he was hired as head coach and promoted from offensive coordinator just a week before the season started, that’s not bad by any means.
On top of that, Cubit has head coaching experience, having gone 51-47 in eight years at Western Michigan before coming to Illinois.
That said, is he the long-term solution? It’s too early to tell, but Illinois was on the up-and-up under Beckman before the awful controversy became public and Cubit knows Beckman’s system on top of the fact that he probably won’t mistreat his players.
Simply put, Kowalczyk is entitled to his opinion, but it was a bit out of place at the time he gave it.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports