Thank You Ron Zook

#26
Springfield, IL
So glad to see this thread. I was thrilled with Thomas' comments about the Zook, the human being. I also thought that Zook's "exit speech" was as classy as it gets.
 
#27
Illinois only made to the Rose Bowl by default. The only reason they got to go was because OSU got picked to play in the BCS title game. Zook was an average coach. He only had to big wins at Illinois. ASU this year and OSU during the Rose Bowl year.
 
#29
Illinois only made to the Rose Bowl by default. The only reason they got to go was because OSU got picked to play in the BCS title game. Zook was an average coach. He only had to big wins at Illinois. ASU this year and OSU during the Rose Bowl year.
You're kidding right? We beat Wisconsin in 2007 while they were ranked #5 after beating Penn State who was ranked in the top 25 at the time. Both finished that season with 9 wins. Arizona State finished 6-6 this year and fired their coach. I would consider our beat down of Baylor in the Texas Bowl bigger than our win against ASU because it was our first bowl win in more than 10 years. Also, we earned the Rose Bowl when we defeated #1 OSU in Columbus. If we would have lost that, Michigan would have been the team to go.
 
#30
I always liked that Ron Zook put the losses on the coaching staff. Said things like "we have to do a better job getting them ready". In the end that was pretty much how most people saw it anyway. I think he came up short on in game coaching but he usually didn't try to deflect it either. I admire him for that.
 
#31
Illini Foot Soldier
Illinois only made to the Rose Bowl by default. The only reason they got to go was because OSU got picked to play in the BCS title game. Zook was an average coach. He only had to big wins at Illinois. ASU this year and OSU during the Rose Bowl year.
Not the time or the thread, dude. As happy as I am to see Zook go, you can't say we didn't deserve that bowl bid. The kids played their butts off that season and Zook was part of the reason, like it or not.

And to say that Zook only had two big wins at Illinois is just wrong -

2011 - Arizona State
2010 - Northwestern
2010 - Baylor (first bowl game Illinois has won in a loooooooooooooong time)
2009 - Michigan (first time we beat Michigan at Memorial Stadium in a looooooooooooooong time)
2007 - Penn State
2007 - Wisconsin
2007 - Ohio State

Great wins for this program. If you can't understand the good that Zook did at Illinois, I'm not sure you can talk about the bad that came with it, at least not with proper context.
 
#32
Coach Zook,

As a student and teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, I have been a loyal and passionate supporter of you and your program the last 7 years. I can proudly say that I will cherish the memories you brought to this program. From the Texas Bowl, Rose Bowl, and most of all upset over then number 1 and 10-0 OSU, I will never forget these great memories. I know how difficult it is to reach these goals.

I felt the urge this evening to write up a thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did for this program. While I'm sure you would have wanted even better, I agree that this program is very close. You built a program based on integrity, honesty, and recruiting good student athletes. In this day and age, it is very difficult to do this, and I have enjoyed following you as a student and now alum. I know I have met you a few times at the radio shows and as an honorary coach this year, and I couldn't have been prouder to do so. You represented Illinois football so well, and I don't think I can thank you enough. You took on a very difficult role when you accepted this position, and you lifted expectations both on the field and off the field. I thank you for choosing Illinois.

I wish you all the best Coach Zook, and I admire the character and positive attitude you brought to this program and University. I hope you continue to have the success you did in building a program like you did here at Illinois. Best wishes to you and your family!
 
#33
Illinois only made to the Rose Bowl by default. The only reason they got to go was because OSU got picked to play in the BCS title game. Zook was an average coach. He only had to big wins at Illinois. ASU this year and OSU during the Rose Bowl year.
However, I bet he knows the difference between to and two :thumb: