CHICAGO - Illinois is no longer on the market for a new head coach this winter.
The University of Illinois announced it has agreed to a two-year deal with interim coach Bill Cubit, pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees. The extension will pay Cubit $1.2 million per year. Exact terms of the deal are not yet known but a source said most of the first year salary is guaranteed with a buyout for the second season.
“Bill has stepped in during an extremely difficult period and done an outstanding job in leading our football program since August,” Interim Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk said. “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. 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 was named interim head coach on Aug. 28 and has led the Fighting Illini to a 5-6 record in 2015. Illinois needs a victory Saturday at Soldier Field to become bowl eligible.
“During the past three months, Coach Cubit has led this team with a steady and experienced hand,” Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said. “He has earned respect and appreciation from all of us. 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.”