Josh Whitman is having himself one hell of a Saturday morning. After quietly giving basketball coach John Groce a vote on confidence on the radio, Illinois sends out a press release announcing the immediate release of head football coach Bill Cubit and offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit, who happens to be his son. The rest of the coaching staff will be allowed to interview with the new coach to potentially keep their jobs.
This is a hell of a lot to process right now. I'm honestly shocked. After the Groce news, I fully expected Cubit to get another year to prove his mettle or whatever bullshit it would be spun as. Instead, we're going into spring practice without a head coach. One year after going into a season without one. This is insane.
Illinois' first mistake was giving Cubit the two year extension. This is a pretty nutty way to try to rectify that mistake. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled the Cubit Boys are gone. Their offenses were bad and neither did anything to deserve the money the university was throwing at them (which adds up to about $1.4MM that we'll owe for this upcoming season).
I'm just a little irked/confused by the timing. Illinois could have hired Dino Babers this fall. He was there for the taking. But now we're jumping into the coaching market months after everyone has been signed. So either Josh Whitman already has Cubit's replacement lined up or he's an incredibly bold man. We'll have more as this develops.