Illinois will make it official later today (Tuesday).  Former NFL head coach Lovie Smith will be the next head football coach for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.  Illinois will introduce Smith at a 2 pm news conference today. 


Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman fired head coach Bill Cubit on Saturday.  Illinois football went 5-and-7 under Coach Cubit in 2015.  


The 57-year old Lovie Smith has coached in the NFL for the Bears and Buccaneers. 

Chicago (2004-2012) - 81-63

Tampa Bay (2014-2015) - 8-24

11 years -- 89-87




Smith last coached in the college ranks in 1995 as a defensive backs coach with Ohio State.  He was the defensive coodinator for the St. Louis Rams for three season - 2001-2003.


Smith—wants his Illini players to graduate and play winning football

Smith—met with Illini players today

University of Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman—says Lovie Smith is a great fit as the new Illini head football coach

Whitman—says Lovie Smith is one of the best football coaches in America