Lovie Smith receives 2-year contract extension through 2023

#1
Illinois Extends Contract of Football Coach Lovie Smith

University of Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman announced today a two-year contract extension for Head Football Coach Lovie Smith to keep Smith at Illinois through the 2023 football season.

"This extension demonstrates my belief in Lovie Smith, his staff, and the plan they have for the future success of Illinois Football," said Whitman. "I have studied our program extensively, and I see steady progress, both in the development of our current players and the talent we are adding to our roster. To date, we have remained one of the youngest teams in college football, with only nine seniors and nearly 80 freshmen and sophomores. As our players grow in strength, skill, and experience, more wins will follow.
https://fightingillini.com/news/201...s-contract-of-football-coach-lovie-smith.aspx

Stability is Key to Success - A Letter from Josh Whitman

Illini Family:

With the 2018 Illinois football season now concluded, I thought it important to share, in my own words, my view on the state of our program and our plans for the future.

No one is satisfied with our season, least of all those of us directly involved in the day-to-day work of Illinois Football. We endured several lopsided losses and expected to win more games. After studying the season, however, there were undoubtedly signs of progress:
https://fightingillini.com/news/2018/11/25/football-a-letter-from-josh-whitman.aspx
 
#6
So when we go 4-8 or 3-9 next year, is everyone going to keep supporting this? Did anyone notice that we lost to Iowa 63-0 this season? I can't name another Big 5 conference program that would have kept the coach. I can picture even emptier stands football next year.
 
#7
This is insanity. I don’t think Whitman gets a 2nd hire if this fails. He’s toast if Lovie fails.
 
#8
So when we go 4-8 or 3-9 next year, is everyone going to keep supporting this? Did anyone notice that we lost to Iowa 63-0 this season? I can't name another Big 5 conference program that would have kept the coach. I can picture even emptier stands football next year.
You can't have a coach on a lame duck contract. You need to be able to tell recruits that his contract will run longer than the four years that they're going to be there. No parent is going to send their child to an uncertain situation or a situation in flux.
 
#11
Kliff Klingsbury was just fired for going 35-40 in six seasons. Lovie would need to go 26 -13 in the next 3 seasons (which is NOT happening) just to match a record that got a coach fired. That power house Texas Tech has higher football standards than our school and fan base. There was no need for an extension he had 3 years on the contract after this season, the original contract was 6 years.

Fedora fired after going 45-43
Bobby Petrino fired after going 36-26
3 years prior to Lovie's arrival 15-22
Lovie 9-27
 
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#13
Actually, it's the right thing to do. His first recruiting class will be what, Juniors this year? This thing is still a work in progress. Good luck selling a recruit this year on a coach whose contract is set to expire after their sophomore year.
Exactly. Consider this a marketing move if nothing else. Let Lovie, the staff, and recruits have the ammo of belief in the system, stability, etc. it will be a heck of lot easier for all to keep building progress with this versus the constant threat of lame duck / Lovie being fired rumors. There are already recruits on twitter that seem pumped up about this move - can you imagine all the negative whispers these kids have to ignore when committing to Illini? Let’s remove those hurdles we can
 
#14
We will either sink or swim with Coach Smith, Given the choice between retaining the existing staff and the chances of getting a young dynamic coach with a strong winning Power 5 tradition to come to Central Illinois and quickly turn the program around, I would also opt for stability. Obviously, we need to see consistent progress and competitiveness if we ever want to see 65K fans in Memorial stadium again. "Its all about bucks, the rest is just conversation." - Gordon Geeko
 
#15
Wellington, FL
I was in the stands on Senior day (first time on campus in almost 20 years). Traveled with my son from sunny and warm South Florida to campus so he would get a tour of the engineering school, see and hear all my stories from my time at my alma mater (with a few of my old friends), and go on an unofficial visit at the game. I was just as embarrassed as anyone during that game if not more as I'm competing for my son's interest against my wife's beloved school UF. As bad as that game was, our AD is making the right decision. Stability is the one thing we have lacked for many years which is a huge reason why the program fell as far as it did (other than completely lacking any talent on the coaching front). Let's give this some additional time to simmer and see what happens. I see the talent every day down here in FL on the grid iron in the fall and the spring. The amount of players he is getting from here and Texas will really benefit this team in the long run. Another year or two of talent coming in will only help build the program going forward. Look at what Fitz was able to do at that school up north. That wasn't done overnight. In a few years if things are status quo, I will be the first one looking for a change. Until that time I will continue to watch and support my team from a far and hopefully in a year or so when my son makes his college choice, I'll be able to get back up there a lot more often. ILL
 
#16
Equal Opportunity Alcoholic
Portland, OR
Our fanbase is not very sensible when it comes to rebuilds. They take time and, to use the word of the day, stability. Your seeds will never grow if you keep plowing the field. This was never going to be a 2-3 year rebuild regardless of who we hired for either program.
When exactly has lack of stability with coaching been an issue with Illinois football?
 
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#17
Yea
Actually, it's the right thing to do. His first recruiting class will be what, Juniors this year? This thing is still a work in progress. Good luck selling a recruit this year on a coach whose contract is set to expire after their sophomore year.
Yes.

I believe Lovie is a good man, a caring-nurturer ! Keep him at Illinois for stability. But lose the beard. I know what I'm giving Lovie for Christmas.

You just can't quit coaches when the mood suits you. If Lovie is our coach, so be it.
 
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#18
Stability is the one thing we have lacked for many years
I understand people calling for stability in the abstract. Coaching chaos *can* lead to scheme chaos and roster chaos and poor recruiting that only digs the hole deeper.

But people saying this in the context of the Illini absolutely baffles me. Lovie Smith is now our fifth (not counting Cubit) head coach IN A ROW to survive a season which probably would have resulted in a firing just about anywhere else.

And a couple of those (1995, 2003) were among the most destructive moments in our program's history. Stability is why we're here!
 
#21
Whitman is trying to lay the groundwork for a sustained program. Firing a coach every 3 years will not work at Illinois and will not attract a good coaching staff. Look at what the Steelers, Pat's, Packers have done over the lady 20 years. Look at NU, Iowa, MSU... they have down years but stability of coaches and players the key.

Allow Lovie to hire a DC coach and recruit with the new facilities. Allow his Frosh to be upperclassmen. Lovie hasn't recruited Illinois well. Hopefully with longevity, winning, facilities this will improve.

I like Whitman's letter, need to retain players, coaches, recruits.
 
#22
While I don’t agree with this decision it’s not my job that’s on the line.
I will readily that Josh know much more about the in and outs of college football. If the thinks that retaining Lovie is the right decision then he has my full support.
If this is not the right decision it’s his azz on the line not mine.
 
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#24
Whitman is trying to lay the groundwork for a sustained program.
By extending the contract of a 60 year old coach who fired both of his handpicked close personal friend coordinators within 31 months on the job.

Guys, it's okay to just admit that we're gambling on a guy we like and have faith in to improve. That goes for you too, Josh. You don't need to lard up the argument with a bunch of easily disprovable nonsense.
 
#25
Stability is the key. Plus it stops negative recruiting. And we did improve as a team this year the lopsided losses didn’t help that perception. But I was impressed with the offense. Now let’s get some juco’s mixed with 5th year seniors and improve the defense. More playmakers period.
 
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