Matt Fortuna, writing at The Athletic, explains why a head coach who has gone 9-27 in three years is getting a contract extension.
It is foolish to think that a program of Illinois’ recent caliber can just hire and fire head coaches until landing on the right guy. The Illini are in this place to begin with because of the cumulative effect of misses, as Smith was hired after signing day in 2016 and became the program’s third head coach in as many seasons that fall. Two seasons later, he still fielded one of the youngest rosters in the country because of all the attrition that comes from those regime changes, and that youth reared its ugly head on the field.
Lovie Smith isn’t going anywhere. However, I sure hope the team next year hits six wins and goes to a bowl game.