Illinois hires Lovie Smith as head coach
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois says former NFL coach Lovie Smith will be named the next football coach at the University of Illinois.
Smith, who was head coach of the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was announced as coach Monday and replaces Bill Cubit. Cubit was fired Saturday after one season in charge at Illinois.
Smith said in a news release that he did not hesitate to take his first college head-coaching job.
Smith coached the Buccaneers for two years and had an 8-24 overall record. He was fired in January.
The defensive-minded Smith also took the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006 where they lost to the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears fired Smith after the 2012 season.
Cubit was 5-7 as Illinois' interim coach last fall.