Coaching Discussion/Carousel

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#276      
Like a lot of things in life, reality is somewhere in the middle. Do I believe that Lovie is 100% hands off in recruiting and is not involved at all? No, that simply cannot be the case. Do I believe he's leading the recruiting efforts? No, I don't believe that either.

Many head coaches at top programs function generally as closers. Brian Kelly at ND is a great example. I think Lovie would like to function in this role, but sadly that's not where the recruiting program is these days. And as the head coach, it's his responsibility to run the recruiting program.

It would be one thing if there was a master recruiting plan Lovie put together and he and his staff were executing it. But 5 years in, no such program blueprint is discernable. He's gotten lucky that transfers have opened up and he's been able to pluck some players to fill gaps. That's no long term way to build a roster, however.
 
#277      
Like a lot of things in life, reality is somewhere in the middle. Do I believe that Lovie is 100% hands off in recruiting and is not involved at all? No, that simply cannot be the case. Do I believe he's leading the recruiting efforts? No, I don't believe that either.

Many head coaches at top programs function generally as closers. Brian Kelly at ND is a great example. I think Lovie would like to function in this role, but sadly that's not where the recruiting program is these days. And as the head coach, it's his responsibility to run the recruiting program.

It would be one thing if there was a master recruiting plan Lovie put together and he and his staff were executing it. But 5 years in, no such program blueprint is discernable. He's gotten lucky that transfers have opened up and he's been able to pluck some players to fill gaps. That's no long term way to build a roster, however.
Correct. Lovie does the bare minimum which guys like Saban and Kelly can do( although Saban absolutely kills in home visits). Putting in little effort at a place like Illinois is never going to work. People have tried to tell him he has to change his approach a little bit (see Underwood) but he just won't.
 
#278      
I think recruiting is made out to be a lot more scientific than it actually is. It's a lot like top 10 draft picks. Some pan out incredibly, others linger but don't light the world on fire, and others fade into obscurity.

The same applies to the transfer portal. Is it how some people would build a team? No. Is it ideal? No probably not. But it's also not a way to skip doing the work. Kids won't play for you if you don't give them a reason to.
 
#279      
I believe it because I've heard first hand. Talk the coaches off the record and they will tell you how Lovie recruits. Look at recruiting since Ward and Clark left.....really nothing going on. There is a reason we try for so many transfers every year, its easier than grinding on the recruiting trail.
Don't take my word for it. There are pictures of Lovie out on the recruiting trail. Unless you define recruiting differently than I do. Even the transfers have to be recruited.
 
#280      
It is incredibly frustrating that we cannot shake the basement mentality. Illinois falls way short of paradise, but I have seen worse geographic locations produce good football programs (Manhattan, KS) as an example. We are starved for a guy who will sell the program and the state of Illinois. We have more than enough football talent in the surrounding areas, but we consistently lose out to Purdue, ND, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mizzou, Michigan, even Miami for crying out loud....Anyone good in the state looks elsewhere first because we have been so bad for such a long time. I was a huge Zook fan because of his energy, personality and his I will never get out worked mentality. It will take a young guy with passion and energy to convince these kids that our program can and will be different. If IU can be a top 10 team, why can't we?! Watch Allen on the sidelines, those kids love him (sorry, that will be the only positive thing I will every say about IU again). Go Illini!
I watched Zook on the sidelines for a lot of games.....That guy was electric. He was a regular around town guy, always high energy, shakin hands. Zook was signing posters at a local CellPhone office in the early years....I had my then 12 year old son with me.....He spent 10 minutes talking to us about football. Great personality.....and LOVIE? Not so much....
 
#281      
Don't take my word for it. There are pictures of Lovie out on the recruiting trail. Unless you define recruiting differently than I do. Even the transfers have to be recruited.
I don't think anyone is saying he spends zero time on it....they are saying he spends a minimal amount of time on it and isn't very good at it, when at a place like Illinois you need to spend a lot of time on it and be good at it. He could get away with it if he were Saban or if he was competent at actually coaching or building a staff or player development, but he is equally inept in these areas unfortunately
 
#283      
Western Illinois
Does our AD Josh follow this site? Does he realize that Lovie is putting in a minimal effort into recruiting? I would seriously like to know what Josh thinks about where our football program is at.
 
#287      
Maybe. We don't really need to speculate how much effort he puts forth. The results are what matter
I agree~ in life the results are what matter and the results on the recruiting trail leave a lot to be desired. As important as coaching is, without recruiting talent it’s an exercise in futility.
 
#288      
Fine, so he can't recruit. Not every good coach is a great (or even good) recruiter. Ok, so if you can't recruit, can you develop players? While questions certainly were asked about whether Lovie could recruit, he certainly would be able to develop players, right? All those NFL coaching connections he was going to bring to the staff? The three stars were going to turn into all conference players, right? Yeah, that hasn't happened either. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
 
#290      
If our AD spends time on this site, I want a new AD.

funny you should say this! In July of 2018 I was working an internship and counting down the days for football season to begin. I would google “Illini football” in my spare time (which was considerable at this particular job) and read articles from 247 or ESPN as they popped up.

One day I stumbled on an article that talked about the history behind college football message boards and some of the cool stories connected to them. In that article it mentioned that Robert Gates, who at the time was president of Texas A&M, would frequent one of their message boards to talk football, give out little tidbits of information, and most importantly, monitor the pulse of the Aggies fan base. This article was helped me discover Illinois Loyalty and I’ve been a regular ever since then.

I don’t post too much but I do really enjoy reading what people here have to say. I think this is a great place to gain some insight into what passionate Illini fans are thinking and it would only surprise me if there were NOT higher ups in the DIA and athletes who come by every now and then to see what’s being said.

If anybody is interested in reading the article, I’ll link it below. Go Illini

 
#291      
Go to Fightingillini.com and read the bios of our coaching staff. That has to be one of the worst p5 coaching staffs in the country. We are not only not getting good talent in recruits but I think it’s safe to say they aren’t getting coached up either.
 
#292      
I don't think anyone is saying he spends zero time on it....they are saying he spends a minimal amount of time on it and isn't very good at it, when at a place like Illinois you need to spend a lot of time on it and be good at it. He could get away with it if he were Saban or if he was competent at actually coaching or building a staff or player development, but he is equally inept in these areas unfortunately
There are a few that have said that he spends "no" time on it. If they don't feel that he spends as much time on it as they would like then, by all means, please say that.
 
#293      
People skills. Relationships. Likability. Some people have "it". It's just one aspect of coaching, but it sure makes recruiting a lot easier.
* M. White
* J. Mackovic
* R. Zook
White and Zook - yes
Mackovic - no. However, he was a great coach who built a great staff, and that compensated for a pretty cold personality
 
#294      
st petersburg, fl
funny you should say this! In July of 2018 I was working an internship and counting down the days for football season to begin. I would google “Illini football” in my spare time (which was considerable at this particular job) and read articles from 247 or ESPN as they popped up.

One day I stumbled on an article that talked about the history behind college football message boards and some of the cool stories connected to them. In that article it mentioned that Robert Gates, who at the time was president of Texas A&M, would frequent one of their message boards to talk football, give out little tidbits of information, and most importantly, monitor the pulse of the Aggies fan base. This article was helped me discover Illinois Loyalty and I’ve been a regular ever since then.

I don’t post too much but I do really enjoy reading what people here have to say. I think this is a great place to gain some insight into what passionate Illini fans are thinking and it would only surprise me if there were NOT higher ups in the DIA and athletes who come by every now and then to see what’s being said.

If anybody is interested in reading the article, I’ll link it below. Go Illini


Agreed. i do think there's some value from an AD perspective to be on here once in a while - esp for a place like illinois (smaller sports fanbase than blue bloods, so you're relying more heavily on the more hardcore fans - i.e. the ones on these boards). Great, quick way to get at least a bit of an idea of what the perception is. Obviously, almost all of us don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but, as we know, perception matters too, and as an AD, part of your job is to manage that perception.

As for Lovie. I think his biggest failing is in coaching staff. I never expected him to be a great recruiter. He just doesn't have that personality. He's always been a "i'm not going to sell you something. i'm all business and less talk". That usually doesn't parlay well to recruiting. But, knowing that, it's been on him to recognize that aspect and bring in a team that are great recruiters (and at least competent in Xs/Os, which I don't think all are/have been that either). Yes he brought in Cory Patterson (thought, outside of STL, not sure how great of a recruiter he is). But, losing several other names, net/net, that has been a failure and likely the biggest issue for the team.
 
#295      
Rockford, Illinois
White and Zook - yes
Mackovic - no. However, he was a great coach who built a great staff, and that compensated for a pretty cold personality
Totally agree, bluemountain. Had Mackovic in our home for three hours between IFUND caravan stops. He was a complete jerk. Here’s just one minor example of many. I had asked ahead what the coaches would want to drink, and I was told for Mackovic ice tea with lemon so I was prepared with freshly made tea. I also had sugar and sweetener available. He asked where was the Equal. It had just come out on the market, and I didn’t have any. He refused anything but a bottle of water for the whole three hours where he sat on the couch and did not converse with anyone. On the other hand, the wonderful Lou Henson stood in my kitchen telling stories and drinking beer! BTW, I served both of the affable and fun coaches Mike White many glasses of white wine and Ron Zook many beers over the years at our events.;)
 
#296      
Totally agree, bluemountain. Had Mackovic in our home for three hours between IFUND caravan stops. He was a complete jerk. Here’s just one minor example of many. I had asked ahead what the coaches would want to drink, and I was told for Mackovic ice tea with lemon so I was prepared with freshly made tea. I also had sugar and sweetener available. He asked where was the Equal. It had just come out on the market, and I didn’t have any. He refused anything but a bottle of water for the whole three hours where he sat on the couch and did not converse with anyone. On the other hand, the wonderful Lou Henson stood in my kitchen telling stories and drinking beer! BTW, I served both of the affable and fun coaches Mike White many glasses of white wine and Ron Zook many beers over the years at our events.;)

Stop getting our coaches drunk! They have jobs to do!
 
#297      
Go to Fightingillini.com and read the bios of our coaching staff. That has to be one of the worst p5 coaching staffs in the country. We are not only not getting good talent in recruits but I think it’s safe to say they aren’t getting coached up either.
That has been my point during this thread. We have talent but we are not getting the most of our talent because our staff is underachieving in getting the players coached up or ready for kick off. Every game this year we have started flat. 14-0 vs Wisky and PU. 21-0 to Minny. Shoot, 10-0 to Rutgers. That is what we call a trend. It took 59 minutes and 53 seconds into game 4 before we even took a lead this year. JW has to pull the trigger. We see coaches get all excited when playes are made by the D and there is Lovie just standing with very lirttle emotion. He isnt getting in players faces when they do godd or bad. Football is about motivating kids to play past their abilities and get the most from them but Lovie just goes about his standing on the sidelines with zero cares on what happens on the field. Even his PC’s are lame with the same monotone delivery. No passion. It is a paycheck for him and his kid. It is tIme to move on to a younger, hungier coach.
 
#298      
Geneseo, IL
Does our AD Josh follow this site? Does he realize that Lovie is putting in a minimal effort into recruiting? I would seriously like to know what Josh thinks about where our football program is at.
If he's half as bright as he seems, he has to be shocked and terribly disappointed at what a horrible hire Smith has turned out to be.
 
#299      
Forgottonia
This doesn’t fit perfectly in this thread, but J Leman on Tay and Piper yesterday is worth a listen. J Leman spent an hour talking about how a defense reads an offense. If you watched the game, he often called plays out before they happened. I don’t see that happening on our D right now. Players are out of position because they don’t know where they are supposed to be for the situation in front of them. Either the players aren’t watching enough tape to understand or the coaches aren’t teaching them how to read the plays. Either way, with the experience on this team and the coaches being what they are, I don’t see it getting better in year 6. If they haven’t figured it out by now they are not going to.
 
#300      
That has been my point during this thread. We have talent but we are not getting the most of our talent because our staff is underachieving in getting the players coached up or ready for kick off. Every game this year we have started flat. 14-0 vs Wisky and PU. 21-0 to Minny. Shoot, 10-0 to Rutgers. That is what we call a trend. It took 59 minutes and 53 seconds into game 4 before we even took a lead this year. JW has to pull the trigger. We see coaches get all excited when playes are made by the D and there is Lovie just standing with very lirttle emotion. He isnt getting in players faces when they do godd or bad. Football is about motivating kids to play past their abilities and get the most from them but Lovie just goes about his standing on the sidelines with zero cares on what happens on the field. Even his PC’s are lame with the same monotone delivery. No passion. It is a paycheck for him and his kid. It is tIme to move on to a younger, hungier coach.
To piggy back here, we have not had a lead at halftime of ANY game in 385 days (October 29, 2019 vs. Purdue). That is the definition of poor game prep.
 
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