Poll: Is it time to fire Lovie?

Is it time to fire Lovie?

  • Yes

    Votes: 101 43.7%
  • No

    Votes: 13 5.6%
  • Finish the season

    Votes: 116 50.2%
  • Other response

    Votes: 1 0.4%

  • Total voters
    231
  • Poll closed .
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#51
Fleck is an illinois guy who was looking to get into the Big 10. Seems like an obvious job he would’ve considered
 
       
#52
With so much revenue in flux, varying Covid guidelines between conferences/states impacting everything from recruiting to practice to game day and everything in between, I don’t see how a move can be made even after this season unless something changes dramatically.

How attractive is a head coaching job at a bottom tier Power 5 school residing in one of the most restrictive states and belonging to one of the most restrictive conferences going to be?

And that’s before we even fully dive into the financial complexities of the buyout situation and coming up with enough money to get decent coaching prospects to even return phone calls.

All that said, while I don’t like the on-field results overall, Lovie checked some boxes we desperately needed checked:

✅ The DIA was under a ton of pressure to hire a minority coach. It was WAY overdue. The football staff situation was much more dire than the basketball situation in Feb 2016.

JW had an opportunity to get a household name in the state of Illinois that would remove the “UI is one of very last programs that hasn’t hired a minority in a revenue sport” stigma while also proving we would spend serious money.

✅ Whitman leveraged the initial excitement of the Lovie hire to raise considerable funds and vastly upgrade the facilities.

✅ Lovie has restored some much needed professional dignity to the program, despite too much losing.

✅ Hopefully dispelled the always popular notion that simply hiring a minority HC would have stud recruits lining up to come to Champaign. Even at top tier schools recruiting requires a solid strategy executed with focused energy, a deep network, and skilled salesmanship.

I could well be wrong, but it always seemed to me that Lovie was more than happy to delegate these responsibilities rather than lead from the front, and it shows. Time has proven that the entire college football roster building process was not only outside Lovie’s range of experience, but outside his actual ability as a head coach. He’s simply not wired for it.

✅ Whitman has allowed Lovie to first build and then rebuild his staff. He’s had enormous latitude and resources (by UI standards) at his disposal to build the entire program in his vision. He’s been allowed to take control of the defense by hiring himself as DC.

By his own repeated admission, this is his best team. And on paper, it should be. Peters being out isn’t helping, but the fact that his own defense is this catastrophically bad in year five is categorically indefensible.

No prospective coaching hire is going to look at this situation and get the impression Lovie wasn’t given a fair shake. But then again that takes me back to the issues outlined in the beginning of this unfortunately long post.
 
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#53
Agreed. We brought in a D3 AD who has no Big 10 AD respect. Then he fired an adequate (at the time ) hc with a $1 million contract expiring in a year and gave a $25 million long term contract to a guy with no college experience, who no one else was clamoring for on his first day. (In addition I’ll never forgive Lovie for running off Vaughn either )

Imo Whitman was exposed right there The results only confirm it.
You lost me at “Bill Cubit = adequate.”
 
       
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#54
With so much revenue in flux, varying Covid guidelines between conferences/states impacting everything from recruiting to practice to game day and everything in between, I don’t see how a move can be made even after this season unless something changes dramatically.

How attractive is a head coaching job at a bottom tier Power 5 school residing in one of the most restrictive states and belonging to one of the most restrictive conferences going to be?

And that’s before we even fully dive into the financial complexities of the buyout situation and coming up with enough money to get decent coaching prospects to even return phone calls.

All that said, while I don’t like the on-field results overall, Lovie checked some boxes we desperately needed checked:

✅ The DIA was under a ton of pressure to hire a minority coach. It was WAY overdue. The football staff situation was much more dire than the basketball situation in Feb 2016.

JW had an opportunity to get a household name in the state of Illinois that would remove the “UI is one of very last programs that hasn’t hired a minority in a revenue sport” stigma while also proving we would spend serious money.

✅ Whitman leveraged the initial excitement of the Lovie hire to raise considerable funds and vastly upgrade the facilities.

✅ Lovie has restored some much needed professional dignity to the program, despite too much losing.

✅ Hopefully dispelled the always popular notion that simply hiring a minority HC would have stud recruits lining up to come to Champaign. Even at top tier schools recruiting requires a solid strategy executed with focused energy, a deep network, and skilled salesmanship.

I could well be wrong, but it always seemed to me that Lovie was more than happy to delegate these responsibilities rather than lead from the front, and it shows. Time has proven that the entire college football roster building process was not only outside Lovie’s range of experience, but outside his actual ability as a head coach. He’s simply not wired for it.

✅ Whitman has allowed Lovie to first build and then rebuild his staff. He’s had enormous latitude and resources (by UI standards) at his disposal to build the entire program in his vision. He’s been allowed to take control of the defense by hiring himself as DC.

By his own repeated admission, this is his best team. And on paper, it should be. Peters being out isn’t helping, but the fact that his own defense is this catastrophically bad in year five is categorically indefensible.

No prospective coaching hire is going to look at this situation and get the impression Lovie wasn’t given a fair shake. But then again that takes me back to the issues outlined in the beginning of this unfortunately long post.
Last year's recruiting class was comparable to Beckman's last class. This year's class will be quite a bit worse and I can only imagine what next year's class would look like with a dead man walking coach. Years of horrendous recruiting might be more of a hindrance to a prospective coach than possible conference or state mandated covid-19 restrictions.

Financially, can the athletic department afford to not fire Coach Smith after the season? They can get to a million dollars pretty quickly through ticket sales (e.g., 5,000 season tickets @ $200 each), but if there's no hope, they're really limiting their buyer pool to the diehard fans.
 
       
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#55
Coach Smith has always been a man with charactres who has acted with integrity A quality university does not disrespect a person like that by firing him in the middle of the season.
 
       
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#56
South Carolina
Coach Smith has always been a man with charactres who has acted with integrity
Except for when he lies before each season saying the team is ready to be competitive
 
       
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#57
i don't think firing him in mid-season is the right move because of the unique circumstance of Covid and because he's both HC and DC. However, if that were not the case, he should be let go mid season and there is no disrespect in that. Someone who is making the amount of money he is making needs to be held accountable - it goes with the territory/responsibility/salary. No disrespect in saying that this is not a match - just accountability.
 
       
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#58
Last year's recruiting class was comparable to Beckman's last class. This year's class will be quite a bit worse and I can only imagine what next year's class would look like with a dead man walking coach. Years of horrendous recruiting might be more of a hindrance to a prospective coach than possible conference or state mandated covid-19 restrictions.

Financially, can the athletic department afford to not fire Coach Smith after the season? They can get to a million dollars pretty quickly through ticket sales (e.g., 5,000 season tickets @ $200 each), but if there's no hope, they're really limiting their buyer pool to the diehard fans.
When the season was cancelled for fans I had the ticket office leave my money on deposit for next year. Yesterday I emailed them and asked what the refund options were going to be if a change was not made at season's end. I'm not being snarky in asking-I just have lost the energy to think about attending games if they look anything like this year's. I will still tailgate and enjoy the day, but fans attend games hoping for a competitive match. With no hope of that, people just won't come. If 4,996 more people do the same, Josh just lost $1M...
 
       
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#59
You will see several players transferring out of this program at the end of the season. No heart which is a reflection of the head coach. Offensive Cord. is a joke too. Lovie makes between 4-5 Million a year. Bring in a Luke Fickell or Jamey Chadwell from Coastal Carolina. Will Healy Charlotte, Billy Napier from Louisiana. Need younger blood. How about UCF Josh Heupel , he makes 2.5 Million now. Would any of them even want to come here?
 
       
#60
Everyone stop with the Fickell nonsense. He makes more at Cincy after incentives and everything than he would here. He has had Cincy ranked now for several years, Cincy is a better job right now than Illinois. He's only leaving Cincy for 2-3 maybe 4 other jobs in the country.....Michigan is one of them.
 
       
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#62
What's he supposed to say? "We're going to go out there and get our brains stomped like a vat full of warm grapes"?
That would be one option. If he TRULY is a person of all the character and integrity noted above, he would sit down with JW and say, "hey boss, this isn't working out." Let's put together a transition plan asap. I will announce my retirement now so that fans gain some hope and you can find the right guy.

Arrogance may trump the ability to look inward and see when your current strategy isn't working. I'm not saying Lovie is arrogant, because I don't know him. It's obvious to everyone with any knowledge of college football that his strategy does not work. What is not obvious is whether anyone with any authority, including Lovie, is willing to do something about it. JW has to stay silent and cannot share his plans with us, but yikes, hopefully something is being worked out.

Otherwise, I don't really want to hear about Lovie's character. Yes, he runs a tight ship (with over 100 yards in penalties against 0-2 Minnesota). He also was in the right encouraging the young people to vote and do their civic DUTY. As much as all of that is awesome, he gets paid to win on Saturdays. And his record speaks volumes.
 
       
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#63
South Carolina
What's he supposed to say? "We're going to go out there and get our brains stomped like a vat full of warm grapes"?
Lol I was being a smartass.

He doesn't need to say that either because that is what all sports media say (except for maybe Jeremy Werner). On a side note, maybe we can remove the sarcastic quotation marks around "experts" when discussing the media's season predictions.
 
       
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#64
Baltimore, MD
really wanted Lovie to work out here, seems pretty clear now that will not be the case. End it at seasons end and prepare for a LONG winter
 
       
#65
I get everyone saying he should retire but if things weren't working out at your job would you quit leaving money on the table or take your severance pay? Which in this case is 1-2 million for Lovie.
 
       
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#66
I still think the Lovie hire was unquestionably better than the Beckman/Cubit experiments. I still think it was a good hire in a vacuum. It's easy to see now that it was a bad choice. I think stubbornness ruined his career, both with the Bears and here. Maybe a touch of narcissism and bad luck to go along with that. I agree with others that the Wisconsin/MSU wins last year might have been more detrimental to this team long term than helpful.

I trust in Whitman to make a better hire next time around. He's had some stinkers, but generally, I find it hard to categorize him as a bad AD, at least at this time. Fundraising has been at least above where I would've expected it, obviously BU was a good get, and facilities have really been stepped up, even for the little guys.
 
       
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#67
Everyone stop with the Fickell nonsense. He makes more at Cincy after incentives and everything than he would here. He has had Cincy ranked now for several years, Cincy is a better job right now than Illinois. He's only leaving Cincy for 2-3 maybe 4 other jobs in the country.....Michigan is one of them.
Jim Harbaugh available? Might as well stick with ex Bear motif. LOL
 
       
#68
I get everyone saying he should retire but if things weren't working out at your job would you quit leaving money on the table or take your severance pay? Which in this case is 1-2 million for Lovie.
If he and JW worked it out, couldn't he have both? Or at least part of what he would be owed? Still come back to the premise that if he's all about character and integrity, he may have to be willing to leave something on the table.

I make more than I ever dreamed I would, and understand your point as I still don't turn down any of my pay. I also do think there is a point in your financial security where another chunk of cash doesn't really change your life any. You never have "too much" but eventually you can say that I have enough to do anything I ever want to do.

Unless you are trying to take care of your extended family. See Smith, Miles...
 
       
#69
I still think the Lovie hire was unquestionably better than the Beckman/Cubit experiments. I still think it was a good hire in a vacuum. It's easy to see now that it was a bad choice. I think stubbornness ruined his career, both with the Bears and here. Maybe a touch of narcissism and bad luck to go along with that. I agree with others that the Wisconsin/MSU wins last year might have been more detrimental to this team long term than helpful.

I trust in Whitman to make a better hire next time around. He's had some stinkers, but generally, I find it hard to categorize him as a bad AD, at least at this time. Fundraising has been at least above where I would've expected it, obviously BU was a good get, and facilities have really been stepped up, even for the little guys.
Jim Harbaugh available? Might as well stick with ex Bear motif. LOL
At least we are not stuck with Mel Tucker at 5.5 million a year. Oh yeah ex bear coach. Starting to see a pattern.
 
       
#70
If he and JW worked it out, couldn't he have both? Or at least part of what he would be owed? Still come back to the premise that if he's all about character and integrity, he may have to be willing to leave something on the table.

I make more than I ever dreamed I would, and understand your point as I still don't turn down any of my pay. I also do think there is a point in your financial security where another chunk of cash doesn't really change your life any. You never have "too much" but eventually you can say that I have enough to do anything I ever want to do.

Unless you are trying to take care of your extended family. See Smith, Miles...
hmmmm
 
       
#72
This falls on Whitman 5 wasted years and a boatload of money. Stupid. Whitman always knows it all and has nothing to back it up. The guy in the boardroom who thinks he knows it all is usually the stupidest.
Got lucky in basketball because of the schools history as well as the hc noting that this was his dream job
I disagree to a certain extent. I thought we needed a splash and we got Lovie. But it is now a failed hire. Only because he cannot coach kids up and he rarely gets emotIonal on the sidelines. We make the same mistakes and they look over and there he is, emotionless. It is like his head is not in the game. Zook was very emotional but not a good game manager. We have talent to win but Lovie, for reasons only a Kumquat would know, stands on the sidelines like it is a throwaway game in Rochester. We need a fiery coach who can recruit and get kids up for games. I do not think we are that far off. We just need a scheme that works. Every team knows what we do and can easily defend it. There are rarely adjustments. Now with Brad, we stole him from OSU. He was not on anyone’s list on here. I believe that Brad did reach out first but JW sold him on the job. Did we get lucky, possibly. JW needs to get this hire right. He needs to find the right guy. He best have his list and start making inquiries through the back channels. We need a coach who can keep the kids here and can get the best out of them. We have talent. We have the wrong leader
 
       
#73
This falls on Whitman 5 wasted years and a boatload of money. Stupid. Whitman always knows it all and has nothing to back it up. The guy in the boardroom who thinks he knows it all is usually the stupidest.
Got lucky in basketball because of the schools history as well as the hc noting that this was his dream job
Lol. I have my problems with JW but this is just funny....not at all true.
 
       
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#74
We aren't getting a established or top tier up and coming head coach. It's going to be all on Whitman to take a chance on a relatively unknown. We are a dumpster fire, with a disengaged academic administration and a very nice facility. Whitman won't have the same money this time around. I have faith in Whitman wanting nothing but the best for the Illini, but I think it's going to be slim roster of qualified candidates.
 
       
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#75
We aren't getting a established or top tier up and coming head coach. It's going to be all on Whitman to take a chance on a relatively unknown. We are a dumpster fire, with a disengaged academic administration and a very nice facility. Whitman won't have the same money this time around. I have faith in Whitman wanting nothing but the best for the Illini, but I think it's going to be slim roster of qualified candidates.
Don't need to see Illinois throw out money this time around, not sure there's a coach demanding that money out there that's going to come to Illinois given the situation. Luke Fickell is out of the conversation.
 
       
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