Perhaps to make up for the earlier offseason rumblings that defensive coordinator Tim Banks might not be going anywhere, the athletic department announced today that his offensive counterpart won't be either. Bill Cubit was granted a contract extension through the 2015 season with a pay raise that bumps him up to $500,000 per season which is a pretty nice bump up from the $400K he made this year.
This is nice for a few reasons, my favorite of which is that it may show a new willingness to actually spend on the assistant coaches. As Tom noted last week, Illini assistant coaches as a group made only more than Purdue out of the ten schools that made their salaries public knowledge. Higher salaries provide quite a bit more incentive to stay where you're at, which can help keep coaches from being poached by other programs. The Illini assistants now make more money than their Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue equivalents.
It's also nice to see Cubit rewarded for helping to massively turn around the once-moribund offense. While they aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, the offense managed to go from being one of the worst in the nation to a top 25 passing attack that should continue trending upward next year when Wes Lunt or Aaron Bailey take over. Cubit now makes only $200K less per season than Michigan's Al Borges, which we should all be pretty okay/happy/delighted by.
Next up? Find a new DC and give Alex Golesh more money before another program steals his ginger self.