Illini Football Coach Cubit Signed To 2-Year Extension

November 28, 2015
 
Illini football coach Bill Cubit walks the sidelines during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign

Illini football coach Bill Cubit walks the sidelines during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign

Bradley Leeb/Associated Press

Bill Cubit has agreed to be the coach at Illinois for the next two years.  The appointment awaits the expected approval by the school's board of trustees.  The announcement came just before Illinois' 24-14 loss to Northwestern at Soldier Field Saturday.

Cubit was promoted from offensive coordinator to interim coach after Tim Beckman was fired just before the start of the season. The Illini finished the season at 6-6, and 2-6 in the Big Ten after Saturday's regular-season finale against No. 17 Northwestern at Soldier Field.

Interim athletic director Paul Kowalczyk says Cubit "has stepped in during an extremely difficult period and done an outstanding job."

“Our student-athletes have responded in a positive manner and we feel he is the best person at this time to be the head coach," said Kowalczyk, in a press release.  "We wanted to allow Bill to make decisions regarding the program as the head coach without the interim title, and lead the Fighting Illini into Saturday’s game without speculation.”

Cubit will make $1.2 million per year.

“He has earned respect and appreciation from all of us," said Interim Urbana Chancellor Barbara Wilson.  "This move will allow the permanent Athletics Director to evaluate the program at his or her own schedule and make decisions based on those evaluations once that search is completed.”

Cubit joined the Illinois staff as offensive coordinator in 2013. He has a head coaching record of 90-70-1, including stints at Widener and Western Michigan.

UPDATE:  Justin Jackson rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown, and No. 17 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-14 on Saturday.

Freshman Clayton Thorson threw for 146 yards and a score as Northwestern (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 16 CFP) avenged last year's 47-33 home loss to Illinois. It was the fifth consecutive win for the Wildcats, putting them in position for a Jan. 1 bowl game.

Story source: AP