The Illinois Football Coaching Search

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#552      
Cincinnati, OH
The difference, is the 7 years at Wisconsin vs the 2 years at OSU. And Wisconsin was never at the level that OSU currently is in terms of talent.

All of the folks who are championing Bielema just focus on Wisconsin. Show me something about his tenure at Arkansas that shows he can turn over our program. That's the starting point of this conversation. Talking about Ryan Day is a waste of time because he's not being considered for the Illinois job and never will be. You can't gripe about Barry Alvarez getting credit for Wisconsin's success if we are going to only talk about Bielema's success at a job he left 8 years ago and not talk about his more recent job (that he chose over Wisconsin).
 
#553      

Deleted member 747671

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I'm not necessarily disagreeing that taking over a program that has been successful guarnatees prolonged success. But they're effectively completely different jobs. Turning Illinois into a consistent 9/10-win program is a hell of a lot harder than keeping Wisconsin at 9-10-wins every year.
I agree. But I don't see anything in BB's resume that should disqualify him. I think Arkansas was really an environment thing. The SEC is a different animal. Bielema left an established program and identity in a region he was very familiar with, to take over a mess in a completely different region in the most competitive conference in the country. I don't think he was fully ready for that. At Illinois, sure the talent is down and the results haven't been there, but he'd be in the conference and state he knows best. And now he has even more experience in the SEC and with Belichick to draw from.
 
#554      
Gurnee
Good discussion that is keeping me away from my day job!

Just glad it is a former college/NFL player that is making the decision on who this program needs to commit to, versus someone like Mike Thomas. Lots of opinions - I think we have an AD with the right background and approach to get this done right. Getting anxious for an announcement!
 
#555      
Springfield
#556      
Buyout for Campbell (6 mil): https://www.iowastatedaily.com/spor...cle_2cb6869c-75d1-11e8-a4f4-8f9fdf642158.html

Buyout for Fickell (4 mil): https://www.espn.com/college-footba...uke-fickell-finalizes-contract-extension-2026

Regardless, neither are happening unless Whitman is the second coming.

And has just about every high level donor willing to make either of them the highest paid coach in the B1G, because that's where the conversation would have to begin with either of them. And even then they still might not return the call.
 
#557      
Cincinnati, OH
I agree. But I don't see anything in BB's resume that should disqualify him. I think Arkansas was really an environment thing. The SEC is a different animal. Bielema left an established program and identity in a region he was very familiar with, to take over a mess in a completely different region in the most competitive conference in the country. I don't think he was fully ready for that. At Illinois, sure the talent is down and the results haven't been there, but he'd be in the conference and state he knows best. And now he has even more experience in the SEC and with Belichick to draw from.

Sure, but his recruiting was successful down in Arkansas and he didn't have an issue recruiting in the area. The SEC West is a hornets nest but Arkansas has much more talent to contend with better teams. Illinois has significantly less talent in an easier division. Learning from Belichick has not paid off for any coach besides Vrabel. I don't think he should be disqualified but he's nowhere near the top of my list. He had a chance to take a job like Illinois and failed. He also had a lot of positives going into that job, with his success at Wisconsin, and still didn't win. He would be taking this job without those benefits as well.
 
#558      
All of the folks who are championing Bielema just focus on Wisconsin. Show me something about his tenure at Arkansas that shows he can turn over our program. That's the starting point of this conversation. Talking about Ryan Day is a waste of time because he's not being considered for the Illinois job and never will be. You can't gripe about Barry Alvarez getting credit for Wisconsin's success if we are going to only talk about Bielema's success at a job he left 8 years ago and not talk about his more recent job (that he chose over Wisconsin).
Bielema failed recruiting linemen to suceed at playing the ground and pound style like at Wisconsin on top of having petrino’s spead and spread offensive style players doing it. He had top 30 recruiting classes and good coaching staffs, but arkansas couldn’t win trying to beat lsu and bama at their game thus he failed at Arkansas. Doesnt mean he’s a horrible coach or a fraud. Again he’s not the sexiest hire or obviously a fan favorite but I wouldn’t say he’s the worst name floating around.
 
#559      
Here are 2 reasons we don't want Bielema. First, he has a big nose and is hard to look at during sideline shots. Second, he keeps his windbreaker zipped up to his neck. No one else does that.
All in all, we ought not want anyone who is available because he has been fired or resigned. That leaves out Sarkisian who had dependency issues with Wash and USC. We need not want anyone who bleeds orange and blue. Look at what happened with Barry Odom, who was MizzouThruandThru. Got canned. Look who Mizzou hired -- an up and comer, widely respected, paid his dues at the right programs, never been fired. And had not set foot west of StL. And has charmed the state from day one. Too bad they got him first.
 
#561      
Here are 2 reasons we don't want Bielema. First, he has a big nose and is hard to look at during sideline shots. Second, he keeps his windbreaker zipped up to his neck. No one else does that.
All in all, we ought not want anyone who is available because he has been fired or resigned. That leaves out Sarkisian who had dependency issues with Wash and USC. We need not want anyone who bleeds orange and blue. Look at what happened with Barry Odom, who was MizzouThruandThru. Got canned. Look who Mizzou hired -- an up and comer, widely respected, paid his dues at the right programs, never been fired. And had not set foot west of StL. And has charmed the state from day one. Too bad they got him first.
You forgot to eliminate anyone that wears a visor and/or someone whose mother's birthday is roughly the same time as B1G media days. We're getting somewhere by narrowing down the list with these types of restrictions!
 
#562      
Werner has an article where he spoke to former Illinois players and Illinois high school coaches about what we need with new hire. Not surprisingly recruiting the state was mentioned often. Some names were mentioned that we’ve discussed here as well as two with Illinois connections that haven’t been mentioned. Not advocating for either, just thought it was iinteresting.

Carey Davis mentioned Kirby Wilson. Currently with Raiders as RB coach. Hasn’t coached in college since 2001. Lehman mentioned Greg McMahon, special teams coordinator at LSU and former Illini coach. No nothing about either as a coach. Neither are on the young side.
 
#564      
I think this program may have officially reached, "any coach who would be willing to preside over this dumpster fire, probably isn't good enough to do anything about it" territory.
 
#565      

Deleted member 29907

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I don't think anyone is saying "guaranteed", and the problem with a blanket statement about recruiting is it treats it like some monolithic thing... like we can't get highly rated defensive players, or QBs from that sort of system in HS, or RBs, or OL, etc.

It seems like GaTech had success with it, and ACC DLs and LBs ain't chopped liver.

I'm truly taking the devil's advocate position, just because i'm skeptical when so many people are absolutely certain it "won't work here".

I bet Army would have fared well enough in the B10 West over the last 4-5 seasons.
I guess my point is - that if you go with boring (my opinion of course) you'd better guarantee wins or you'll have both sleepy and then angry fans. I went to a VaTech, GaTech games a few years back and i literally wanted to chew my leg off to get out of there. Ok, exaggeration, but boy was it a snooze fest when GaTech had the ball.

Monken is 40-36 at Army. No exactly world beating. I am not saying he couldn't adopt and run a different offense. I have no deep background on his ability. My objection is to the Triple O style of play. If we're going to change, let's get something exciting to watch. I never liked a slow down offense in bball either - give me the flyin' Illini style every day.

I actually think, due to the nature of the beast, you could get more wins with the triple o if executed very well than our previous 5 years effort just because it is tougher to stay disciplined to defend. But, I probably would fall asleep before the game was over and is a .500 season worth that? Is that success? There's a reason Boeheim runs a zone at SU - he counts on it getting him some wins in the tourney.
 
#566      

Deleted member 747671

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Sure, but his recruiting was successful down in Arkansas and he didn't have an issue recruiting in the area. The SEC West is a hornets nest but Arkansas has much more talent to contend with better teams. Illinois has significantly less talent in an easier division. Learning from Belichick has not paid off for any coach besides Vrabel. I don't think he should be disqualified but he's nowhere near the top of my list. He had a chance to take a job like Illinois and failed. He also had a lot of positives going into that job, with his success at Wisconsin, and still didn't win. He would be taking this job without those benefits as well.
I understand that he failed at Arkansas. I guess I care less about it because it was just such a different environment. If Beilema had left Wisconsin to take over like Iowa or Minnesota and failed, he'd be off my list. But he left the conference and area he knew to take over a program in the most difficult conference in the country. I think that "comfort zone" matters. I just don't see him being any lower on the list than Leipold, Monken, Lewis. Building Kent State or Buffalo is a lot different than building Illinois. Managing a B1G program and everything it entails on and off the field is a lot different that doing that in the MAC or service academy. That experience counts for something to me. Zook never built anything, Turner never built anything, Lovie never built anything. The guy closest to a builder was Beckman. None of those guys were great or even good, but Turner and Zook reached as high a level as Illinois has reached in recent history.

I don't know. I feel like I've become the Bielema guy on here and that was not my intention. My top choice would be Sark. After that I don't really have a preference. I think I like Todd Monken a little more than his cousin for his offense and P5 experience. I'd put Bielema right up there with the group. If I had to rank:
1. Sarkisian
2. Bielema
3. Todd Monken
4. Liepold
5. McElwain
6. Sean Lewis
7. Jeff Monken
8. Wildcard, maybe a DC like Leonard, Lea, Elko

But really that order can change at anytime, I was just throwing together guys that I think would make sense. To me, I need to see the entire package. What are these staffs going to look like? That is crucial for a program like Illinois. Also, I see recruiting as a big opportunity for the B1G west as none of these programs are premier recruiters.
 
#567      
Working From Home
I think this program may have officially reached, "any coach who would be willing to preside over this dumpster fire, probably isn't good enough to do anything about it" territory.
on fire GIF
 
#568      
The desert
I think this program may have officially reached, "any coach who would be willing to preside over this dumpster fire, probably isn't good enough to do anything about it" territory.

That's probably why you see so many posters willing to take a flyer on Scheelhaase.
 
#569      
I see some of the people mentioning Fickell are being creative and saying "you gotta at least call him" so, sure, give him a call. But he's not coming here. He turned down MSU last year. He is being paid handsomely and has incredible job security. His teams down at UC have been excellent and his recruiting continues to improve. It's going to take a really good job to pry him from UC.

If you want someone associated with this program, Freeman is the (possibly) attainable name. He's a great, young defensive coach and probably would immediately breathe some fire into the program's recruiting.
Unless he is a defensive coach that scores 50 points a game, I'll pass. Lovie was a defensive coach with a Super Bowl attached to him and gave up nearly 50 a game.

Fans want excitement like the SEC has...bring us offense
 
#570      
Montgomery County, Maryland
One question, peripherally related: will we maintain the "player personnel" organization in the post-Lovie era?

Presumably it could go find players for whichever system the new guy wants to run.
 
#571      

Deleted member 747671

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That's probably why you see so many posters willing to take a flyer on Scheelhaase.
I see the Scheelhaase talk as a result of Lovie being so bad that we're to the point where "anyone could do better than Lovie." And while we're throwing out "anyone" might as well pick the guy who played here.
 
#573      

Deleted member 747671

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One question, peripherally related: will we maintain the "player personnel" organization in the post-Lovie era?

Presumably it could go find players for whichever system the new guy wants to run.
Pretty sure that was all Lovie driven. I'm sure the new coach will install what he wants in terms of recruiting infrastructure.
 
#574      
Two things I want to add:

1) Thank you, Coach Smith. It didn't appear to be working out by my estimation - as in, I did not see us improving significantly over the next 2-3 years, and the recruits weren't there to buy more time - but I was genuinely proud to have you represent the Illin with such class and dignity.

2) I'm getting a little tired of people around the Internet who are LITERALLY ILLINI FANS downplaying this job. We have brand new facilities, good recruiting grounds, a world class university in a nationally renowned college town, a young and energetic AD who is by all accounts good to work for and no shortage of money or influential boosters willing to pony up for a coach they believe in. We simply should not be this bad year in and year out, and we cannot allow ourselves to be so beaten down so as to forget that. If a program like Iowa can go from utterly bad before Ferentz showed up (FROM MAINE) to what they are now or Wisconsin can go from a constant doormat to running the Big Ten West, we can at the VERY least strive for hardly ever missing a bowl. Instead, as someone noted, we haven't won 7+ games in a row hardly ever in decades. That is below what we should all expect from Illinois Football.

3) Things not working out with hire after hire after hire is NOT a reason to stop trying. You HAVE to try to get better. Period. If we hire a coach who starts going 7-5 every year for ten years and we achieve the goal I mentioned in Point #2 and fans are back on board and we have so momentum but nothing is improving? Guess what? We probably should move on and try to use the momentum to aim higher. The EVENTUAL goal at Illinois should be to compete for championships. Period. We obviously have to consider the situation and be realistic and afford realistic timetables (even if that is a decade or two!), but we can never stop striving toward those goals. If our own damn fans don't believe in our program's potential ... well, as someone else said, go root for 'Bama. I will never understand Illini fans who seem to pratcially enjoy talking about Illinois in a bad light. Whatever failure goes on for Illini athletics is quite simply fixable.
 
#575      
The desert
I see the Scheelhaase talk as a result of Lovie being so bad that we're to the point where "anyone could do better than Lovie." And while we're throwing out "anyone" might as well pick the guy who played here.

That's sort of the point I was making, though Lovie was only the second worst of the last two coaches we have had (not counting Cubit).
 
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