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Ron Zook & fired Illinois coaches sitting pretty

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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:16 AM   #1
Dan
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"I don't hold grudges," Zook said. "Things happen. I know this: I can look in the mirror and feel pretty good about both places. You look at Florida and you look at where that program is right now, it's embarrassing. At Illinois, we did stuff that they'd never done in history. They can say what you want to say, but I feel that both places the program is way, way better than it was when I got there."

http://www.illinihq.com/sports/illin...ng-pretty.html
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RON ZOOK
July 31, 2012 $650,000
Jan. 31, 2013 $650,000
July 31, 2013 $650,000
Jan. 31, 2014 $650,000

BRUCE WEBER
April 30, 2013 $1.3 million
April 30, 2014 $1.3 million
April 30, 2015 $1.3 million

JOLETTE LAW
Oct. 31, 2012 $155,000
April 30, 2013 $155,000
Oct. 31, 2013 $155,000
April 30, 2014 $155,000

http://www.illinihq.com/sports/illin...l-cashing.html
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:34 AM   #2
AHSIllini32
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As much as people want to rag on Zook, he has left us in a MUCH better position than when he took over.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:36 AM   #3
Ransom Stoddard
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Originally Posted by AHSIllini32 View Post
As much as people want to rag on Zook, he has left us in a MUCH better position than when he took over.
Agree--and he handled his dismissal with much more class than his counterpart in the MBB program. I was a bit dismayed when Zook was around the team leading up to the bowl, but at this stage it's water under the bridge. We've got a high-energy guy in Beckman and the program gives all appearances of trending upward again.

The thing in the story that made me laugh out loud was that Zook was being considered as a Special Teams coach in the league. Apparently that GM hadn't watched any Illinois game tape from the past few years.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by AHSIllini32 View Post
As much as people want to rag on Zook, he has left us in a MUCH better position than when he took over.
Yep, this is true and we probably couldn't have found a better coach given the state of the program at the time. On the other hand, BW can't claim that he left a better team than the one that he inherited. Nonetheless, BW is getting the larger buyout. Makes one wonder sometimes, doesn't it?
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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Yep, this is true and we probably couldn't have found a better coach given the state of the program at the time. On the other hand, BW can't claim that he left a better team than the one that he inherited. Nonetheless, BW is getting the larger buyout. Makes one wonder sometimes, doesn't it?
Exactly right.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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I fail to see how Florida was worse when Zook took over than when he left. He took over for Spurrier who left Zook with a great program that was in the NC debate almost yearly. When fired from Florida he left them with good players on the roster but it took a few years and they were again National Champs. I liked Zook and he handled his dismissal far better than BW. He definitely showed more class.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:58 AM   #7
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I fail to see how Florida was worse when Zook took over than when he left. He took over for Spurrier who left Zook with a great program that was in the NC debate almost yearly. When fired from Florida he left them with good players on the roster but it took a few years and they were again National Champs. I liked Zook and he handled his dismissal far better than BW. He definitely showed more class.
I have read the Spurrier's recruiting had fallen off, and Zook was not left with typical FL talent. He restocked the cupboard, but between the lower talent level in higher classes and his limited abilities as a HC, he could not win enough games to stay (the usual Zook brain fart games, including losing the MSU, were real killers). And they won the NC either Meyer's first or second year, with virtually all the starter's (21 or 22 or all 22) being Zook recruits. So maybe it's a close call, but I don't think they were worse off when he left than when he started.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by scubadunk View Post
I fail to see how Florida was worse when Zook took over than when he left. He took over for Spurrier who left Zook with a great program that was in the NC debate almost yearly. When fired from Florida he left them with good players on the roster but it took a few years and they were again National Champs. I liked Zook and he handled his dismissal far better than BW. He definitely showed more class.
He's probably alluding to the fact that recruiting started to nose-dive some at the end of the Spurrier era (relative to the SEC) and it was his recruits that built the foundation for their two titles under Meyer.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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He's probably alluding to the fact that recruiting started to nose-dive some at the end of the Spurrier era (relative to the SEC) and it was his recruits that built the foundation for their two titles under Meyer.
Meyers second title had little or no ties to Zook. Meyers recruits won that title and came back and almost won back to back.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AHSIllini32 View Post
As much as people want to rag on Zook, he has left us in a MUCH better position than when he took over.
Yup.

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Originally Posted by Ransom Stoddard View Post
Agree--and he handled his dismissal with much more class than his counterpart in the MBB program.
It's apples & oranges when trying to compare how Zook & Weber handled their dismissals from Illinois. Weber got another BCS job after getting fired from Illinois, Zook is unemployed. Weber was silent in the media about Illinois until he got the Kansas State job. In his early years at Illinois, Zook did throw a shot or two at Florida.

It's too bad Zook didn't get a head coaching job for 2012 so we could truly compare how both coaches -- comfortable with a new job & contract and fully available with all that media attention -- handled their UI dismissals.

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Originally Posted by scubadunk View Post
He took over for Spurrier who left Zook with a great program that was in the NC debate almost yearly. When fired from Florida he left them with good players on the roster but it took a few years and they were again National Champs.
Florida wasn't in contention for the national title late in the season in Spurrier's final 5 seasons at Florida. Urban Meyer's 1st BCS title came in his 2nd season at Florida.

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"I don't hold grudges," Zook said.
Zook is really, really upset at Mike Thomas.

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Zook: "Things happen. I know this: I can look in the mirror and feel pretty good about both places. You look at Florida and you look at where that program is right now, it's embarrassing."
A shot at Urban Meyer. (A continuation of their extended war of words via the media.)

Zook is essentially saying: Florida was in tremendous shape when Zook left in 2004. Urban Meyer went 22-4 and won an SEC & BCS championship in 2005-2006. Now, Urban Meyer has left the Florida program in shambles. FL has gone 15-11 the past two seasons, their sellout streak ended last season, and they're not expected to do much in 2012. Go Zook!

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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BexleyIllini View Post
Yep, this is true and we probably couldn't have found a better coach given the state of the program at the time. On the other hand, BW can't claim that he left a better team than the one that he inherited. Nonetheless, BW is getting the larger buyout. Makes one wonder sometimes, doesn't it?
No, not at all. A guy put in charge of a Mcdonalds may make it the most efficient it's been in years, but it's still a Mcdonald's. Conversely, the person in charge of a high end restaurant in Vegas who oversees it's decline from a top 20 restaurant to barely top 50, is still going to make more than that guy at the Mcdonald's who by all accounts built on what he had whilst the other person could not. Thems the facts of life.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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Meyers second title had little or no ties to Zook. Meyers recruits won that title and came back and almost won back to back.
I said it laid the foundation for the titles and it's not even an assertion I really buy into. Just parroting what's Zook's view is as I recall it being discussed a couple of years ago.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:37 AM   #13
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No, not at all. A guy put in charge of a Mcdonalds may make it the most efficient it's been in years, but it's still a Mcdonald's. Conversely, the person in charge of a high end restaurant in Vegas who oversees it's decline from a top 20 restaurant to barely top 50, is still going to make more than that guy at the Mcdonald's who by all accounts built on what he had whilst the other person could not. Thems the facts of life.
Somebody is hungry.

I agree Zook definitely left us in better shape then where he found us. I also think we fired him at the exact right time. In my opinion, some of these coaches have a ceiling. Zook's ceiling was making Illinois a 6-6 team. So what do we do? (And we are lucky last season left MT no choice but to fire him) we go on to a better coach with a higher ceiling.

I hope and pray TB is the guy that consistently makes us 8-4 or 9-3 every year or even better. Because eventually somebody is going to come knocking to turn that good 9-3 team into the B1G champion every year and be a NC contender. It would be cool if TB could do all that, but if not, I hope he is the next step in our rise to awesome and not a step backwards.

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Old Jun 19, 2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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As much as people want to rag on Zook, he has left us in a MUCH better position than when he took over.
No doubt. I just wish Guenther would've had the stones to fire a coach that went 3-9 with a team talented enough to win 8 games easily. He should've said "thanks for everything, but if we don't move on now, we'll take a step back before we move forward" and thankfully that step back still produced a 6 win season, so Illinois was still appealing to recruits in areas outside the state.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 05:01 AM   #15
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No doubt. I just wish Guenther would've had the stones to fire a coach that went 3-9 with a team talented enough to win 8 games easily. He should've said "thanks for everything, but if we don't move on now, we'll take a step back before we move forward" and thankfully that step back still produced a 6 win season, so Illinois was still appealing to recruits in areas outside the state.
I know it's been said here before, but we were lucky that Loyal Ronny G stuck with Zook and Weber....saved us from having Guenther pick another set of coaches :laugh:

Also regarding why Bruce gets a bigger severence than Zook...I am reminded of the phrase "life's not fair"

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Old Jun 20, 2012, 06:28 AM   #16
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I know it's been said here before, but we were lucky that Loyal Ronny G stuck with Zook and Weber....saved us from having Guenther pick another set of coaches :laugh:

Also regarding why Bruce gets a bigger severence than Zook...I am reminded of the phrase "life's not fair"

Bruce had more remaining on his contract, it wasn't a severance package.
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 02:13 PM   #17
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I see no reason to complain about Zook. Our last two seasons under Turner were abysmal, and although it took a couple seasons, once he'd had a chance to recruit, the talent went up markedly. He was a great recruiter both in terms of selling the program, and finding guys who had high ceilings. The turn-around was remarkable, even if it led only to being a cut above mediocre at the national level. A 7-6 season with a bowl victory capped by an incredible showing in the NFL draft is pretty satisfying considering where we came from just a handful of seasons before. Oh, and we had that incredible season knocking off #1 OSU and getting to the Rose Bowl.

Yes, we're greedy fans and want more consistency, but looking at the record, and knowing the BIG pecking order has some big dawgs fighting for national contention every year, I think he helped us a lot at a time where we could have done a lot worse.

Weber's trajectory was downright sad, and I don't need to repeat it here. BBall fans are not soon going to forget his stretch runs that left us out of the dance, or the way they happened
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