The Coaching Search: Day 6

There has been another day of articles and message board postings on the Internet about the coaching search Ron Guenther is undertaking to replace Ron Turner as Illinois' Head Football Coach. scoured the web to find you the tiniest piece of information on the coaching change, then cleaned ourselves off and created this article about what we found in the Sixth Day of the Coaching Search.<br><br>Today's news focuses mainly on rumors surrounding Ron Zook's candidacy.

From the Gator Country Message Boards ...
Posted By: DirtyG8tr
Zook turned down ECU, will be at.......

Illinois with most of the staff. DD and Red will not be asked and Lock may take a job with HBC in Columbia. Fedora will interview this week with Noles but will probably go with Zooker to Illini.
More posts in that same thread shed some light on the situation with Zook and Illinois. They state he has not taken the job, and is just interviewing for it.
Posted by: Otis80

Zook is interviewing but he hasn't accepted anything. Tim Brewster is going to be interviewed as well. This would be a great job for Zook.

From the Inside Tennessee Message Boards ...
Posted By: Blountvillevol
Zook to interview for Illinois HC job tomorrow

Scott McKinney of SST just announced that he got a phone call from a "highly placed source" inside the UF athletic program confirming that Zook will interview for the position tomorrow.

In his Monday article on the Illinois coaching search, the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein discussed how Illinois Athletic Director Ron Guenther has been using an executive search company to contact prospective coaches so they still have plausible deniability when asked about being contacted by Illinois about their coaching vacancy. After discussing the methods by which Ron Guenther is going about his search, Teddy goes on to point out that the two leaders are Texas Tech's Mike Leach and the San Deigo Charger's Tim Brewster.
Sources say the 43-year-old Leach, an offensive mastermind who happens to have a law degree from Pepperdine, is at the top of Guenther's wish list.

One insider said the executive search firm had contacted Leach and Tim Brewster, the former Illini tight end who now is assistant head coach with the San Diego Chargers.
The rest of the article discusses the pitfalls Illinois may run into when trying to find their next head coach, including money and the timeframe of the hire.
Guenther set a three- to four-week timetable for his search, but Illinois would be best served by having a head coach in place by Dec. 10. That way the coach could assemble the rest of his staff and still have time to make a recruiting push before the New Year.

NCAA rules prohibit campus recruiting visits from Dec. 17 to Jan. 5. National signing day is Feb. 2.

The Tampa Tribune reports no one from Illinois has contacted the University of South Florida about the head coaching position at Illinois. Other names mentioned as possibilities for the job include UConn's Randy Edsall.
In what has become an annual tradition, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt has been mentioned as a candidate for another coaching vacancy. Leavitt is among three potential candidates to replace Ron Turner at Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported.

USF AD Doug Woolard said Saturday he has not been contacted by Illinois for permission to speak with Leavitt.

``I love South Florida and I'm excited about going into the Big East and building an extremely powerful program,'' Leavitt said.

The Daily Illini weighs in with a report on Ron Turner's firing after returning from the Thanksgiving Holidays.
The search for a new head coach began immediately, and Guenther expects to find a replacement for Turner within the next three weeks.

He said he is concerned with finding a coach who can recruit athletes who in turn can produce wins.

"In firing up the masses, what people want to see is wins," Guenther said. "When Ron and I look each other in the eyes, we know how close it was, but it didn't get done."

From Bryan Bloodworth of the Bloomington Pantagraph
My vote for the new Illini coach is Ron Zook, who was fired this season as the top man at the University of Florida.

Zook won at Florida, just not enough for unrealistic Gator officials and fans. His ties to the southern state could surely lure some of the top high school and junior college players in Florida to Illinois.

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