This guy is now available


SubscribeSign In

up next|92pxx92px
Illinois fires coach Lovie Smith after 5 seasons

Illinois fires head coach Lovie Smith after five seasons


|24pxx30px |24pxx24px |24pxx24px |24pxx24px

SportsPulse: Despite cancellations Ohio State shouldn’t be sweating their shot at the College Football Playoff according to Dan Wolken.


The University of Illinois has fired head football coach Lovie Smith with one game left in the regular season.

Director of Athletics Josh Whitman made the official announcement Sunday, effective immediately. Offensive coordinator Rod Smith takes over as acting head coach

“Lovie Smith led the Illinois football program with unquestioned integrity during his nearly five years of service,” Whitman said. “I have tremendous respect for Coach Smith and will always be grateful to him for providing a steady, experienced hand at a time when our program required stability. His unshakeable leadership, never more needed than during this pandemic, will be forever remembered."

Whitman cited a lack of progress “at the rate we should expect” as the reason for Smith’s departure.

In happier days, Illinois head coach Lovie Smith celebrates a 2019 victory over Michigan State.


After head coaching stints in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith brought instant credibility to the Illinois program when he was hired in 2016. However, in his five seasons in Champaign, Smith’s teams compiled an overall record of 17-39 with a 10-33 mark in Big Ten play and one bowl berth — the 2019 Red Box Bowl.

Saturday’s 28-10 loss to Northwestern dropped Illinois’ record to 2-5 this season.

![College football Week 15: Best photos|3x2](data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,%3Csvg xmlns=‘http%3A//’ xmlns%3Axlink=‘http%3A//’ viewBox=‘0 0 9 6’%3E%3Cfilter id=‘b’ color-interpolation-filters=‘sRGB’%3E%3CfeGaussianBlur stdDeviation=’.5’%3E%3C/feGaussianBlur%3E%3CfeComponentTransfer%3E%3CfeFuncA type=‘discrete’ tableValues=‘1 1’%3E%3C/feFuncA%3E%3C/feComponentTransfer%3E%3C/filter%3E%3Cimage filter=‘url(%23b)’ x=‘0’ y=‘0’ height=‘100%25’ width=‘100%25’ xlink%3Ahref=‘data%3Aimage/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wBDABALDA4MChAODQ4SERATGCgaGBYWGDEjJR0oOjM9PDkzODdASFxOQERXRTc4UG1RV19iZ2hnPk1xeXBkeFxlZ2P/2wBDARESEhgVGC8aGi9jQjhCY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2P/wAARCAAGAAkDASIAAhEBAxEB/8QAFgABAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIE/8QAIRAAAQMCBwEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAgABEQMEEhUhIjFUgZL/xAAUAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB/8QAFxEBAQEBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAQACIf/aAAwDAQACEQMRAD8AkbumdmciWPaItpEy3Piw5vS64/LIicg57K3/2Q==’%3E%3C/image%3E%3C/svg%3E)

View | 26 Photos

College football Week 15: Best photos

Originally Published 2 hours ago

Updated 2 hours ago

Subscribe Now – Get Your Offer


The news everyone’s talking about, delivered straight to your inbox.Sign up now

HelpTerms of ServicePrivacy Notice

Your California Privacy Notice

Mobile AppsAd Choices

© Copyright Gannett 2020


I’d have no use for him.
I used to have a lot of respect for him, but when he went to Tampa talking junk about his defense will get them 8 wins, it put him in a different light. A little too arrogant and old school.

1 Like

I think Lovie is a good NFL coach and a good leader.

I suspect recruiting is not his passion, and recruiting for Illinois has to be tough.

I don’t want him for the Lions, but I don’t think his tenure at Illinois is representative of his coaching acumen.

Some guys are just better coordinators than head coaches. Lovie is in that category.

IMO the folks in charge of athletics at the University of Illinois hired Lovie mainly to sell tickets. Lovie has such a great name recognition & familiarity in the state of Illinois. But that’s a horrible reason to hire someone to be your head coach. He had a 17-39 record there. Contrast to Harbaugh winning nearly 70% of his games at Ann Arbor.

I agree with this. It’s difficult to recruit quality talent there.

1 Like