Lovie Smith receives 2-year contract extension through 2023

Been away for most of the weekend. With the decision being made to keep Lovie, and barring some weird buyout increases, this actually seems like a good move by Whitman (even if it is basically a facade to keep/entice recruits and coaches). It's an endorsement and commitment to his coach to protect against the lame-duck narrative, while still making next year the "prove it" year.
 
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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.
And you know guys like this in the media are going to have it both ways too. If Lovie gets fired after next year then Whitman will be slammed for firing a guy he just extended, trying to make him look completely incompetent.
I'm certainly not happy with the situation we find ourselves in either, but given where we are this was the only move to make (barring having some wunderkind coach willing to come here all lined up for next year for HC, the likelihood of which is infinitesimally small).
 
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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.
OK, I see the problem. I meant "worked" in terms of the big picture: a largely unsuccessful coach (during his current tenure) is given an extension to help with recruiting and then, like magic, becomes a successful coach. I apologize for the confusion. That is definitely on me.
 
CU Expat
Chicago
Fair questions. The way Chicago media covers Illinois is frustrating, but can often be a fair counterpoint to local CU media that can drink the orange kool-aid.

There are big issues at stake here for DIA. The investment in coaches and facilities in major sports needs to start paying off. To Whitman's credit, he isn't standing around crossing his fingers, he's been proactive in supporting the revenue sports, giving them every opportunity to win.
 
I'm honestly impressed it took until the end of year three to see a hip-shot "affirmative action" take about Lovie. Good job?
Lovie is a perfect example of "working twice as hard to earn half as much".

I don't know if he is the answer for Illinois football, but the respect the man gets for his career compared to what he has done is shocking.
 
Tepper got 5 years.
Turner got 8
Zook got 7
Beckman got 3 only because of a scandal

When have we lacked stability?
Zook was on the hot seat the last year or 2 and saved himself, Beckman was packing his bags year 3 and pulled off a couple miracle wins to save his job, only to lead to the 1 season and mini contract for Cubit, so since the end of the Zook era we havn't been really stable.
 
There are some good comments in this discussion..

The extension seems like the best alternative. It seems like the issue is the huge buyout that Whitman negotiated with Smith so there isn't much of a choice now. Fire Smith and take a big financial hit with no guaranty that anyone good would want to come to coach at ILL or extend the contract.

However, Whitman's letter sounded too much like the dumb corporate propaganda that I used to receive from my employer and the final paragraph about buying Illinois gear, tailgating and coming to the games was too much. There have been too many years of too much losing for people to want to bet on Smith somehow someway turning the program around.
 
I enjoyed the Bernstein interview. He can be difficult when it comes to Illini athletics, but honestly we give him a lot of information the way things have gone for so long. I really miss Boers and Bernstein show. Uncle Terry was great.

I may be in the minority, but I believe that Lovie is back for year 5 even if we are not a winning team next year if the defense shows improvement. The cupboard was bare when he took this job. I understand the frustration of many, but what alternative is there? Who would want this job in its current state other than someone like Lasagna?
 
I may be in the minority, but I believe that Lovie is back for year 5 even if we are not a winning team next year if the defense shows improvement. The cupboard was bare when he took this job. I understand the frustration of many, but what alternative is there? Who would want this job in its current state other than someone like Lasagna?
The beauty of this argument is in its perfect circularity.

The program was hopeless when Lovie took it over, and we need to stick with Lovie because he's better than any alternative who would take over a hopeless program.



The sadness of the argument is that I'm getting older now and I have heard it and all of its variants, as well as all the variants on the other side, many many times now in both football and basketball. We're treading a well-worn path.
 
The beauty of this argument is in its perfect circularity.

The program was hopeless when Lovie took it over, and we need to stick with Lovie because he's better than any alternative who would take over a hopeless program.



The sadness of the argument is that I'm getting older now and I have heard it and all of its variants, as well as all the variants on the other side, many many times now in both football and basketball. We're treading a well-worn path.
Yes, and we've been hiring and firing new coaches every few years since 1967, and look how great that's been for us.... That's been the recipe for landing us in the 'bottom feeder' category.... Want to stay there.... Keep doing the same thing...
 
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Zook was on the hot seat the last year or 2 and saved himself, Beckman was packing his bags year 3 and pulled off a couple miracle wins to save his job, only to lead to the 1 season and mini contract for Cubit, so since the end of the Zook era we haven't been really stable.
Please show me, with accurate statistics when we have been stable since the 1950's..... You newbies need a lesson in Illinois Football.....
 
Please show me, with accurate statistics when we have been stable since the 1950's..... You newbies need a lesson in Illinois Football.....
Stability is such an arbitrary word and largely unimportant. Is Bama unstable because their coordinators regularly move on? It doesn't matter. Is wisconsin unstable When they went through Bielema, Anderson, and Chryst in four years? The answer to both is yes, Bama's coordinator situation is unstable, Wisconsin had an unstable HC position, but neither of those really matter.

The stability that really matters is a high total of wins. We haven't had a high stability in totals win since what? Never? Pre-WWII? We've never been a stable program, volatility might as well be our mascot. Or perhaps mediocre.
 
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Stability is such an arbitrary word and largely unimportant. Is Bama unstable because their coordinators regularly move on? It doesn't matter. Is wisconsin unstable When they went through Bielema, Anderson, and Chryst in four years? The answer to both is yes, Bama's coordinator situation is unstable, Wisconsin had an unstable HC position, but neither of those really matter.

The stability that really matters is a high total of wins. We haven't had a high stability in totals win since what? Never? Pre-WWII? We've never been a stable program, volatility might as well be our mascot. Or perhaps mediocre.
The last and perhaps only 'stability' we've enjoyed, is now the namesake of the field we play on... Bob Zuppke.
Stability is more than the total number of wins. The number of wins increases proportionately to the number of times you do the SAME thing... score touchdowns and keep the opponent from scoring touchdowns. You accomplish THAT by doing the same things over and over and over and over. And you teach that system over and over and over again.
You can't gain stability of wins until you conquer the stability of having a solid foundation. If you change the foundation every couple of years, you'll never (repeat: NEVER) become a solid or stable enough program to compete against programs that 'get it'.... Piling band-aid upon band-aid only leads to more progressive infections....
 
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If you change the foundation every couple of years, you'll never (repeat: NEVER) become a solid or stable enough program to compete against programs that 'get it'....
Purdue fired Danny Hope after four years and Darrell Hazell after four years to get to Jeff Brohm

Syracuse fired Greg Robinson after four years, lost Doug Marrone to the NFL after four, and fired Scott Shafer after three years to get to Dino Babers

Washington State fired Bill Doba after five years and Paul Wulff after four to get to Mike Leach

Stanford fired Buddy Teevens after three years and Walt Harris after two to get to Jim Harbaugh (and his then-OC David Shaw)

You're just completely, unequivocally wrong. There's not really anything else to add to that. And again, it's just painful how many times we've trodden this exact same territory as a fanbase. But of course, it's never that Lou Tepper should have been allowed to coach forever, or Turner, or Zook, or Beckman, no no no, THIS guy is the one who will reward infinite patience in the face of obvious, un-ignorable incompetence and unsuitability for the job.

And I'm saying this as a Lovie supporter. It's just such a poor argument.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Illinois_Fighting_Illini_head_football_coaches

If it's on Wikipedia it is 100% accurate ;) That said, here is a quick list of stats/tenures.
So we haven't had a coach with a winning record in his career since 1991. Why as a fan base are we shocked that the program is in a bad state? Have there been a few good moments, yeah, but looking at those stats, those moments are anomalies. If Lovie is unable to win next year, it doesn't really change the narrative about Illinois football. Might as well see if Lovie can fix it the narrative
 
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