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Illinois AD compliments Ron Zook, very pleased with progress

Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther complimented head coach Ron Zook during an interview with the Daily Herald.

Guenther seems especially pleased that Zook is looking more at the big picture of the program instead of micromanaging.

Guenther said, "I give Ron a lot of credit. When we finished the season last year, we had to have some real heart-to-heart talks. I didn't like what happened. He didn't like what happened. I had a lot of people telling me, 'Let's make that (head-coaching) change.'

"What we did was dissect his program, but look at this own strengths - The first step was for Coach to get introspective. My challenge to him was, 'What do you do well? What do you think you do poorly? Where do you think it fell apart?' "

"I kidded him around. I sent him some Bobby Bowden stuff. Bobby Bowden says, 'I solve problems. That's what I do as head coach. And then I coach the heart of the football team'. You can't do that when you're into the issues all the time."

"I think the amount of progress that that program has made since the day the season ended has been more progress than any other program that I've been affiliated with."

Illinois opens with Missouri on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 12:30 pm EST on FSN.