Lovie Smith receives 2-year contract extension through 2023

#77
Giving a contract extension to a football coach in order to help with recruiting has never worked, and Josh Whitman knows this. The only reason you give someone a contract extension is because you are afraid of losing your employee to another employer. Josh Whitman has seen the improvement Lovie has made, and believe me, if JW sees it, then every other AD and GM sees it, too. There is a lot that can happen in the off-season, but I truly believe Lovie has a chance of going from 4 wins this year to 5 wins next year! ADs at Louisville, Maryland with their dirty money, USC which might open up next year, among others, are all eyeing the improvement Lovie has shown and must be very interested. (And rumor has it that the Browns are very interested in the head coach of a Midwestern land-grant university that begins with I.) But with a stroke a of pen, Josh Whitman has nipped those assaults in the bud. While the rest of you are playing checkers, JW is playing chess!
 
Likes: LFOD
#81
I think this is a good move. You can't fire the coach every 3 years, especially when this coach's first recruits aren't even upper class yet. Lovie still has some length on his contract now for recruiting and assistant coaching stability.

Next year's schedule is favorable, so hopefully they can get to 6 wins and get a bowl game.
 
Likes: TheVille
#82
New York City, N.Y. City
And now today there is an article on the Yahoo front page slamming Whitman for the “absurd contract extension.” Why do people, national sports writers even, NOT GET THIS? The B-U-Y-O-U-T is the same. It costs us $8 million to fire Lovie next year without an extension. It costs us $8 million to fire Lovie next year with the extension. Whether Lovie gets fired in 2019 is not affected by the extension. That’s because we don’t owe him any more money if we fire him next year even with the extension. It’s helpful that your coach has four more years on his “contract” for recruiting purposes — that’s why Whitman did it — but the only number that matters in terms of firing or not firing a coach IS THE BUYOUT and that HAS NOT CHANGED. The extension does not increase or decrease the likelihood that Lovie is our coach in 2020. Sorry for the ALL CAPS but you all are MAKING me do this.
 
#85
Giving a contract extension to a football coach in order to help with recruiting has never worked, and Josh Whitman knows this. The only reason you give someone a contract extension is because you are afraid of losing your employee to another employer. Josh Whitman has seen the improvement Lovie has made, and believe me, if JW sees it, then every other AD and GM sees it, too. There is a lot that can happen in the off-season, but I truly believe Lovie has a chance of going from 4 wins this year to 5 wins next year! ADs at Louisville, Maryland with their dirty money, USC which might open up next year, among others, are all eyeing the improvement Lovie has shown and must be very interested. (And rumor has it that the Browns are very interested in the head coach of a Midwestern land-grant university that begins with I.) But with a stroke a of pen, Josh Whitman has nipped those assaults in the bud. While the rest of you are playing checkers, JW is playing chess!
Like you said, losing an employee to another employer....helps retaining rod smith, Butkus, ward (those would seem most desired) and also 2 coordinator positions that need to be filled.
 
#89
Normal, Illinois
Do people really think the U of I administration cares enough to fire Whitman if Lovie doesn't work out? I doubt they would have fired Mike Thomas if it hadn't been for the Beckman fiasco. They're too worried about making the university the Harvard of the Midwest to care enough about the revenue sports.
 
#90
I understand the frustration with the extension. I understand that extending a coach with Lovie's record through three years (really 2 1/2) is not a good look. And while I certainly don't have all the information to make the decision that Whitman made, outsider looking in, I probably would have chosen to cut bait at this point.

I think maybe the most disturbing thing to me is this tells me what Whitman sees when looking at this football program. He's not a dumb guy. He knows football. He can count the empty seats in the stands as well as the rest of us. So, this tells me that Whitman thinks that the program is at a point where he could hire his top pick dream coach to take over for Lovie, and that coach would in all likelihood still fail due to circumstances that have nothing to do with the coach's abilities. He thinks another year of stability, another year of recruiting continuity is going to give the next guy a better chance going forward than if they were to bring him in now.

I'm as frustrated as the rest of you. But I think we need to remember the context in which Smith was hired. He's a football professional, he knows how to run a practice, hold a press conference, and otherwise conduct himself in a professional manner. Illinois may never go to a bowl game with Smith at the helm, but it will be in a better place when he leaves because his successor will be inheriting a program that was run by a professional and not an abusive clown.
 
#92
This is a paper move. It keeps his contract from being a "lame duck" without really committing to him long term. A 2 year extension is a perfect example of a "prove it" extension. I imagine the conversation would go something like "we expected this rebuild to be further along by now, but we see the improvement and haven't completely lost faith in what you're trying to do"

Let me be clear. 63-0 against Iowa is unacceptable. The Nebraska loss and Purdue losses in the manner they happened are unacceptable. If they happen again next season the same as this year, I'm sure the coaching search will begin. Not extending Lovie with the "prove it" style extension would have been a major mistake and almost certainly would have negatively impacted any recruiting traction we have. We either needed to do the extension, or fire Lovie. I don't feel like firing Lovie would have been the right call this year.

This cupboard was pretty bare. I see much better athletes on the field today than I saw during the majority of the Beckman era. Just my .02.
 
#94
Do people really think the U of I administration cares enough to fire Whitman if Lovie doesn't work out? I doubt they would have fired Mike Thomas if it hadn't been for the Beckman fiasco. They're too worried about making the university the Harvard of the Midwest to care enough about the revenue sports.
LOL yeah, who cares about academics. (sarcastic if you couldn't tell)
 
#97
Not really accurate. Our defense was made up of mostly seniors in Lovie's first year, including the entire DL (Smoot, Phillips, Bain, Clements) + Nickerson at LB. That Jr & Soph class had very little talent. The only players of consequence, who we could've really used this year, were Watson & Nelson. But they weren't run off and they didn't leave until this past year, and Watson actually had a horrible '17 season. We did lose Vaughn after '16, but McGee proved he didn't handle any part of the Offense correctly, especially RB & OL.

That 2016 season was a disappointment, with what seemed to be a defense with some talent and experience. But it was mostly due to the ineptness of our offense, which carried over and continued in 2017. Hopefully, with some improved WR play the offense will continue to do their part. Minus Phillips, the entire D returns, so hopefully with the experience & another off-season, we'll see significant improvement. A new DC can only help after the debacle that we watched most of this year..
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! What are you doing injecting logic into this discussion? Many posters board have descended into the very depths of Hades,with the best explanation being:
 
#99
Unprovable? It has either worked before or it hasn't. It certainly hasn't worked at Illinois before. Let's hope it works this time!
You have no clue whether providing a coach an extension (or not) has played a deciding factor for recruits. On the other hand, we have a pretty good idea that, when a coach is in a lame duck or uncertain situation, it is used by rivals to recruit against said coach.

For instance, here's Marquez Beason tweeting about the extension about 2 hours after Whitman circulated the letter. Does that read like someone that's been hearing that Lovie's on the hot seat, and welcomes this news? That's certainly how it reads to me.