Multiple sources confirmed to IlliniInquirer.com that former NFL head coach Lovie Smith is expected to be the next Illinois football coach.
Ryan Baker of CBS 2 Chicago was the first to report the news, and Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman also reported the hire.
On his first official day on the job, Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman fired Bill Cubit, who had received a two-year contract from interim AD Paul Kowalczyk following a 5-7 season as the interim head coach.
Smith was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after posting an 8-24 record the past two seasons. Prior to that, he spent nine years as the Chicago Bears head coach, leading the Bears to an 81-63 overall record, three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl apperance in 2007.
Illinois is expected to announce the hiring soon, possibly in the next few days.