Illinois is making a change at head coach, sources told FootballScoop on Sunday.
The Illini are 2-5 on the season heading into the Big Ten’s Champions Weekend. As it stands, Illinois is in line for its fourth finish of sixth or lower in the Big Ten West in Lovie Smith’s five seasons in Champaign. The program’s best finish under Smith was a 6-7 mark with a trip to the Redbox Bowl in 2019.
Four of Illinois’s five losses to date have come by 14 points or more, including a 28-10 loss to No. 14 Northwestern on Saturday.
Smith had not worked in college football since 1994 when Illinois AD Josh Whitman hired him in March 2016 following a two-season run as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach.
An extension Smith signed in 2019 indicates his buyout stands at approximately $2.3 million.
Brief look at some strong candidates for the job here.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> Illinois has now confirmed the news.
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) December 13, 2020