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Bill Cubit provides an example of how fired coaches should carry themselves


Life is the process of dealing with the hand you're dealt and, in coaching terms, Bill Cubit was handed a pair of fours. He stepped into a tenuous, and that's putting it lightly, at Illinois, helping Tim Beckman's Illini lift from a 2-10 debut to 4-8 in 2013 and 6-7 in 2014. Progress was moderate but present nonetheless.

Then, in August, he was promoted to interim head coach following Beckman's abrupt ouster and led Illinois to a 5-7 season. He was offered a two-year deal as sort of a permanent interim head coach as the athletics department and university administration sorted itself out. Not ideal, not at all. But again, it was the hand he was given.

He was fired Saturday in athletics director Josh Whitman's first day on the job.

Cubit, still in Champaign this week, told Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Timesthat the firing hurt. Bad.

“But I’m not going to wallow in sorrow or self-pity,” he said.

“There has been a lot of negativity [at Illinois], and I swore I would not be negative. I swore that I’d be positive, even if things go against me. I don’t want to waste a minute of my life being negative now. Life is too short.”

To be clear, Cubit is not the first coach to be fired, or the thousandth, or the ten-thousandth, even if the firing did come in the odd time of March. And while a 5-7 season was a pleasant surprise given the circumstances, he was still 5-7.

Cubit was given a near million-dollar parting gift. His assistants weren't, and most of them find themselves out of jobs without many to go around.

“That’s the most important part of all this,” Cubit said. “Those guys put their faith in me.”

Read the full story here.