When it was announced that Lovie Smith would be taking over as head coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini football team, it was believed that a number of Bill Cubit’s assistants would be forced to look for another job.
So far, that is not the case.
In a press release, Illinois announced that Lovie Smith will retain Tim McGarigle as linebackers coach. McGarigle, who accepted the job in January, is the third of Cubit’s assistants to keep their spot on Smith’s staff.
McGarigle joins Paul Williams, who remains as defensive backs coach, and Mike Phair, who will coach the defensive line.
Smith explained his decisions to keep former Cubit staffers.
“After meeting with both Coach McGarigle and Coach Williams, I was very impressed with the energy they bring to our staff, as well as their coaching background and experience,” Smith said in a portion of a statement. “Even though they were on the Illini staff only for a few weeks, they will be very helpful in the transition.
“I’m also excited that Nathan will continue working with the program. He is an outstanding young man who loves the Fighting Illini.”
It will be interesting to see how the new staff works together and how much progress we see on the field from the Fighting Illini in 2016.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports