For 7 years Ron Zook has been Illinois head football coach but his expected leave has finally come. Zook was fired Sunday after his team suffered their 6th loss in a row this season at Minnesota Saturday.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has decided that defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will take over as head coach for the time being. Now the search begins for a coach to bring the team out of the hole they are in and start from scratch.
Zook came to Illinois after being fired as Florida’s head coach. Focusing on the finer moments in his career, the 2007 season at Illinois was Zook’s glory year. He led the team to an almost perfect season and claimed bragging rights as Big Ten runners-up.
Illinois players have since taken to the tweeting world to spread words of support to their beloved coach. Former Illinois quarterback Eddie McGee tweeted, “Zook was a good coach and man. Great person who believed in his players. Would do anything for them. If you played for him you know that.”
The respected coach went 2-9 in his first season at Illinois but his recruiting skills allowed him to become well-liked by Illinois fans. His first recruiting class included Chicago quarterback Juice Williams.
Zook will be missed by his players and fans alike but many can assume he will find another team to take under his wing. This is his time to go and Illinois is ready for a new era and hopefully some wins.