CHAMPAIGN — Lovie Smith has been relieved of his duties as Illinois soccer coach after 5 seasons.
Illini athletics launched an announcement late Sunday morning that indicated “Smith won’t coach the Illini throughout (their) remaining recreation of the season.”
The information follows Saturday’s 28-10 loss at No. 15 Northwestern that dropped Illinois to 2-5 on the season. It was first reported by Howard Griffith, a Large Ten Community analyst and former Illini, in addition to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.
“Lovie Smith led the Illinois soccer program with unquestioned integrity throughout his practically 5 years of service,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman mentioned within the assertion. “I’ve large respect for Coach Smith and can at all times be grateful to him for offering a gradual, skilled hand at a time when our program required stability. His unshakeable management, by no means extra wanted than throughout this pandemic, can be eternally remembered.
“Nonetheless, based mostly on intensive analysis of this system’s present state and future outlook, I’ve concluded this system is just not progressing on the fee we should always count on at this superior stage in Coach Smith’s tenure. “To attain our aggressive goals, I imagine new management of the soccer program is required. I’ll at all times look fondly on the time Lovie and I’ve spent collectively. I want him and (his spouse) MaryAnne nothing however the perfect.”
Offensive coordinator Rod Smith will coach the Illini throughout its to-be-announced Large Ten Champions Week recreation subsequent week.
In line with the assertion, Illinois athletics “starting instantly … will launch a nationwide search to determine Coach (Lovie) Smith’s successor.”
Lovie Smith was employed by Whitman previous to the 2016 season and guided the Illini to the 2019 Redbox Bowl, which Illinois misplaced to California. That was this system’s first bowl look since 2014.
Nevertheless, Smith’s tenure included 5 total shedding seasons and a cumulative 17-39 report. It is not clear if Illinois will play in a Large Ten Champions Week recreation this coming weekend and who would lead the workforce into that contest.
Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman needed to make the transfer
Illini lose sixth straight to Northwestern
Smith in 2016 was given a six-year contract value $21 million, and he later signed a two-year extension in November 2018. Smith was due $4 million for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons. His contract included a $2 million buyout for the 12 months 2020, a quantity that might’ve fallen to $1 million in 2021 and 2022.
Illinois soccer hasn’t posted a profitable report since 2011, a season by which Ron Zook was fired and Vic Koenning coached the Illini within the Kraft Struggle Starvation Bowl. Tim Beckman, Invoice Cubit and now Smith have been unable to show that tide.
Whitman can be hiring his second soccer coach since taking up as Illinois’ AD in February 2016. Whitman fired Cubit on March 5 of that 12 months and employed Smith two days later.
Whitman is slated to deal with media at 3 p.m. Sunday, in response to the assertion. That press convention can be carried on WDWS 1400-AM.
Smith’s time with the Illini included a $20 million donation from the H.D. Smith Basis to the College of Illinois Basis, with $15 million offered to a efficiency middle that ultimately grew to become the $80 million Henry Dale and Betty Smith Soccer Heart.
Although Whitman routinely threw assist behind Smith, each for on-field efforts and off-field recruiting, Smith struggled to see persistently positively leads to each areas.
“I imagine in Coach Smith,” Whitman mentioned in the summertime of 2019. “If I did not, we would not have prolonged (his contract) this final 12 months.”
Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The Information-Gazette. He will be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.