Lovie Smith out at Illinois

#201      
If Beckman won at Illinois there would have been an insane number of people on here who would have embraced the lasagna comments that we all joke about now. Fans always hate the mannerisms of their coach when they are not successful but accept/embrace them when they win.
Yep, and I’ll take it further to say there was praise here for Lovie trying to hire minority coaches as an example for the CFB world/as something that will resonate with recruits at the beginning of his tenure. and now it’s been twisted into him just checking off boxes and doing favors for friends. When Ash was hired it was praised that he brought in a woman who had a football family pedigree for that role and now she’s a nobody who can kick rocks.

Bottom line is Lovie did some bafflingly bad things (hiring his son) and tried to do some good things (elevate and mentor minority coaches in a sport where that is lacking) that didn’t pan out. And he did some good things as well, I’m sure.

All the currrent praise for BB bringing in folks who played for him, GA’d for him, know his style, etc. will also turn into “favors” in two years if the product on the field isn’t improved.
 
#202      

Deleted member 654622

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Yep, and I’ll take it further to say there was praise here for Lovie trying to hire minority coaches as an example for the CFB world/as something that will resonate with recruits at the beginning of his tenure. and now it’s been twisted into him just checking off boxes and doing favors for friends. When Ash was hired it was praised that he brought in a woman who had a football family pedigree for that role and now she’s a nobody who can kick rocks.

Bottom line is Lovie did some bafflingly bad things (hiring his son) and tried to do some good things (elevate and mentor minority coaches in a sport where that is lacking) that didn’t pan out. And he did some good things as well, I’m sure.

All the currrent praise for BB bringing in folks who played for him, GA’d for him, know his style, etc. will also turn into “favors” in two years if the product on the field isn’t improved.
I can agree with the majority of this post. Except the major difference is BB is bringing in people that are qualified.
 
#203      
A program as such is much more than someone calling plays for 3 hours on fall Saturday afternoons. It's 365 days a year of managing hundreds of students and staff plus facilities. And speaking of facilities, ours were in tatters before Josh and Lovie set to it. And consider that during Lovie's tenure, no players were arrested, none were stabbed, and they all attended class. Emphasis was making them better men. So the program itself was elevated substantially. You may not have been pleased with the won-loss record.
Bennett Williams and a couple buddies were suspended. Also Howard Watkins literally robbed a dorm.
 
#204      
I can agree with the majority of this post. Except the major difference is BB is bringing in people that are qualified.
Agree. He's not bringing in guys that just played and GA'd for him and that's their entire resume. Those guys are already established and respected coaches. We're bringing them in at their appropriate level. Literally none of the new hires are being brought in at levels above their qualifications or experience. We aren't reaching and hoping. If anything, some of them, like Buh and Miller, are pretty much overqualified. This is the most impressive staff I've seen at Illinois.
 
#205      
Lovie did nothing to better the program. What exactly are you thanking him for?
Feel like I did a good job laying that out but to answer what I assume was a rhetorical question:
1. Giving a spiraling program some much needed legitimacy, even if in name value and press only
2. Upgrading facilities
3. Some semblance of stability

No one good was going to take the Illinois job following the Beckman fiasco. Whitman got Lovie as a bridge, with the hope it could amount to more.
 
#206      
Feel like I did a good job laying that out but to answer what I assume was a rhetorical question:
1. Giving a spiraling program some much needed legitimacy, even if in name value and press only
2. Upgrading facilities
3. Some semblance of stability

No one good was going to take the Illinois job following the Beckman fiasco. Whitman got Lovie as a bridge, with the hope it could amount to more.
I agree with your reasons. I disagree with your final comment. Lovie was not hired on a 6 year, 21 million dollar deal to be a bridge. It was a huge statement, and with it came expectations that would eventually lower and lower each year. That investment, at that time, was made with hopes of turning us into a successful football program and it fell about as flat as it possibly could.
 
#207      
There were many things wrong - using hindsight - in the hiring of Lovie Smith. Perhaps the biggest mistake, though, was that the U of I pursued and offered the head coaching job to someone who was not seeking it and was not hungry for it. Josh Whitman didn't make that mistake this time around. It will be a pleasure to watch BB and his staff bust their butts to make us a respectable program once again.
 
#208      
I agree with your reasons. I disagree with your final comment. Lovie was not hired on a 6 year, 21 million dollar deal to be a bridge. It was a huge statement, and with it came expectations that would eventually lower and lower each year. That investment, at that time, was made with hopes of turning us into a successful football program and it fell about as flat as it possibly could.
I think we are looking at those facts from different perspectives. I agree that it was not a small commitment by any means, but I believe that the $3.5M/yr price tag was necessary to get someone of Lovie's notoriety. Additionally, it is common for coaches to get 4-7 year commitments from a university to turn a program around and, while on the longer end of that spectrum, I think it was intended as a sign that Illinois was committed to rebuilding.

Simply put, I think Lovie was a candidate with an average floor and Whitman was hoping he would be a home run, when Lovie adapted to the college game. You are all right, this did not happen. But I think Lovie did leave the current program with some improvements on where we were not too long ago.
 
#209      
I had to look up who she was

. I Wish her well - it’s a tough business for women to prosper - but it does seem like many pro sports are trying to get some involved in management roles -
but coaching ? that’s going to be tough .
Director of High School Relations? Huh? What's a job like that pay......as much as the Director of Enhanced Community Hand Shaking?
 
#210      
Agree. He's not bringing in guys that just played and GA'd for him and that's their entire resume. Those guys are already established and respected coaches. We're bringing them in at their appropriate level. Literally none of the new hires are being brought in at levels above their qualifications or experience. We aren't reaching and hoping. If anything, some of them, like Buh and Miller, are pretty much overqualified. This is the most impressive staff I've seen at Illinois.
I’m with you (and Dude), but will caution how some of Lovie’s hires were “home runs” at the time (we’ve already had that discussion so I won’t belabor). A lot of those hires were “qualified” and again to the extent they weren’t college coaches or had playcallingnduties etc, the spin was, “well they bring NFL experience to the table” or other rationalizations of how having someone “different” in that role may benefit us. Now, for example, it’s military academy experience that we covet.

Robert put it best. We’re in “good vibes only” mode now and I’m there with you all. I’m much more excited about this staff than I was about many of Lovie’s choices. But we can’t act like there wasn’t the same excitement (and debate—there were certainly people that were not impressed or skeptical with Lovie’s hires just as there some now who aren’t excited about some of BB’s hires). We just have the benefit of hindsight with Lovie.
 
#211      
Feel like I did a good job laying that out but to answer what I assume was a rhetorical question:
1. Giving a spiraling program some much needed legitimacy, even if in name value and press only
2. Upgrading facilities
3. Some semblance of stability

No one good was going to take the Illinois job following the Beckman fiasco. Whitman got Lovie as a bridge, with the hope it could amount to more.

Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.
 
#212      
We all know why she got the job . She would still be employed if she was any good at it , as firing her was not something they did without thinking it through . I’m sure there is a file full of a few memos detailing the reasons she was asked to leave . those kinds of jobs are often insulated from the coaching staff as they are admin type positions and I doubt it was BB by himself saying he wanted her gone .

that said , they will try again to find a female to fill a job or two - the ones where intimate football knowledge isn’t required .

it’s all about show , not about go
 
#213      
I’m with you (and Dude), but will caution how some of Lovie’s hires were “home runs” at the time (we’ve already had that discussion so I won’t belabor). A lot of those hires were “qualified” and again to the extent they weren’t college coaches or had playcallingnduties etc, the spin was, “well they bring NFL experience to the table” or other rationalizations of how having someone “different” in that role may benefit us. Now, for example, it’s military academy experience that we covet.

Robert put it best. We’re in “good vibes only” mode now and I’m there with you all. I’m much more excited about this staff than I was about many of Lovie’s choices. But we can’t act like there wasn’t the same excitement (and debate—there were certainly people that were not impressed or skeptical with Lovie’s hires just as there some now who aren’t excited about some of BB’s hires). We just have the benefit of hindsight with Lovie.
I think people forget how many hires Lovie actually made. The initial staff was put together at such a weird time that people were fine with him grabbing NFL guys that seemed to have potential to be good college coaches. But after that initial staff, Rod Smith was by far the best hire. Next would probably be Austin Clark and then maybe Cory Patterson based solely on recruiting. Everyone else either didn't fit in college (Byrd), had no business being hired (Miles), or had next to no experience. Most people aren't going to immediately badmouth someone so they tried to find the most positive things about the guys (young GA's that are hungry and getting their first chance, etc).
 
#214      
Winged Warrior
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.

CurbeloYourHottakes.
 
#216      
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.
I guess you're forgetting the reasons why Beckman, and ultimately Mike Thomas, were fired. It was "not ideal". We were probably about the biggest dumpster fire in all of college football (maybe on par with Kansas) when Whitman came on board and Lovie was hired.
 
#217      
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.
Ummmmm..... either you are going for pure hot takes (& I haven't been on here long enough to know that) or someone has some serious revisionist history going on here

Exhibit A: "Bad College Jobs are better than Good College Jobs"
The clip literally talks about how bad the Illinois job was and this is fresh off of all the scandals the athletics department had.

Exhibit B: "Illinois athletes were treated improperly" by Beckman
 
#218      
I guess you're forgetting the reasons why Beckman, and ultimately Mike Thomas, were fired. It was "not ideal". We were probably about the biggest dumpster fire in all of college football (maybe on par with Kansas) when Whitman came on board and Lovie was hired.

We were 5-7 with the most experienced team in college football returning. We were ranked 65 on F+ rankings with nearly the entire team coming back. That is anything but a dumpster fire. A dumpster fire is mass transfers, and having to start over at the very bottom with limited scholarships. The situation Lovie inherited was the complete opposite of that. He inherited a bunch of kids that actually played some good football under Bill Cubit, and they all returned to play under Lovie. Whatever was going on with Beckman mean nothing to the team. He pissed off 1 player, and got fired. But the rest of the team, the rest of the 84 guys were still here. Lovie's first season, with as much experience as he had on that team, should have been a good 2016 which would have lead to some good early recruiting results. 2017 was going to be a step back, but then 2018 would get right back on track. Unfortunately, Lovie ran off many of the players that should have contributed, and 2018 was even more of a disaster than 2017 was. That was of Lovie's own doing. His own decisions.

Whatever Beckman/Thomas did had 0 impact on Lovie's failures. The job wasn't a dumpster fire. The roster wasn't either. There's been coaches take over far worse situations. Look at Baylor.
 
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#219      
If I take an honest look at my motivation for criticizing Lovie, I think it stems for how supportive I was for him in his first 3 years. I would say you could go back and look at my post but I have been banned so many times my history has been erased. I had such severe tunnel vision, much like Washington, that I refused to look at the evidence in front of me because I just knew it was going to work out and I knew he was going to put all on the line for the program. Now that it is over, and I can see it for what it is, it really pisses me off.
Right or wrong, I am just saying I believe this is where I am coming from
I understand that we learn from history. So it's legitimate to reflect on what was done before, to learn from that and do better in the future. I also was a strong supporter of Lovie. I was greatly disappointed, and plainly just hurt and mad, about the results. It felt like he failed me personally. It's human nature to extract revenge, but that's where we can get carried away. I think at some point the criticism becomes no more than a surrogate for revenge. And piling on by others legitimizes our criticism in our minds.
But I just know when I do that it ends up not making me feel better, and usually worse.
I'm not any sort of expert about this stuff, just reflecting on my life experiences. But 5 cents paid to Lucy for an hour of therapy would probably be more worthwhile.
 
#220      
All I can say to this is, harken back to the days when Joe Torre was manager of the Yankees. Remember dugout TV shots during the game of Torre huddled in the corner of the bench in his overcoat. He looked like he was embalmed. But the team won nonetheless.
Baseball is not an emotional sport in that manor where you need emotion to get players riled up. Football and basketball are but not baseball. You dont see baseball players before the game get into a huddle and jump up and down, or run onto the field to get the fans fired up. Baseball is more refined. I will give you an example. A baseball player makes an error, he doesnt throw his glove down and gyrates around in agony unlike a football player who drops a interception who jumps up and down and screams in agony. Your argument is apples and oranges
 
#221      
Lovie gave us some instant credibility. Even if it didn’t work out, his name recognition generated a ton of hype and established a sense of legitimacy to the program, and especially showed that the AD had some oomph behind him. We didn’t even have a president or chancellor or something at that time did we?

and while the football product wasn’t what we wanted, he didn’t embarrass us like beck man or anything.

plus I don’t know the fundraising numbers, but it sure seemed like some donors were stepping up and Josh capitalized on that early. Maybe not but it felt that way, and now we have facilities that one of our new coaches said we’re probably as good as any in the nation.
I’m not looking to defend lovie. But I do think we were better as a program when he left than we were when he got here. Maybe all the credit goes to Josh though.
 
#222      
Ummmmm..... either you are going for pure hot takes (& I haven't been on here long enough to know that) or someone has some serious revisionist history going on here

Exhibit A: "Bad College Jobs are better than Good College Jobs"
The clip literally talks about how bad the Illinois job was and this is fresh off of all the scandals the athletics department had.

Exhibit B: "Illinois athletes were treated improperly" by Beckman
Ok, so he left us in a better place because:
1. He was a splash hire
2. He didn't abuse players
 
#223      
Lovie gave us some instant credibility. Even if it didn’t work out, his name recognition generated a ton of hype and established a sense of legitimacy to the program, and especially showed that the AD had some oomph behind him. We didn’t even have a president or chancellor or something at that time did we?
It may have gotten us instant credibility, but that credibility instantly vanished with garbage product in the field.
 
#224      
Ok, so he left us in a better place because:
1. He was a splash hire
2. He didn't abuse players
Because it was in a terrible place from Beckman. I am not complimenting Lovie. He was trending way down. This last class for example. But Beckman was a disaster.
 
#225      
Put me in the very skeptical hire for Lovie. Didn't want to say never Lovie but he was to me far from a home run hire. Maybe if I was an avid Bear fan I would have been in the Lovie camp. He did take a team to a super bowl which many coaches can't say they did. Tampa Bay nothing special there. I always felt he was a huge " yawn" as the hire. That is the thing that I will remember most about him, not even average. If I have to say a positive it would be having no criminals on the team and players attending classes. Is BB the perfect coach? Probably not but to me he has such a higher ceiling for several reasons.