The University of Illinois announced Sunday that Ron Zook is being dismissed as head football coach.
The move ends Zook’s 7-year tenure with the Illini.
“I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership,” Athletic Director Mike Thomas said in a release. “It is imperative that our program shows some consistency and competes for championships, and I think a change in coaches can help us get there sooner. I wasn’t here seven years ago when Ron Zook took over as coach, but it’s clear the program is in better shape than what he inherited. I believe we need new leadership to take the program to the level to compete for championships on a consistent basis. This is an extremely competitive conference, and we are determined to go head-to-head with the very best.”
Zook became the head coach in 2004. He has a 34-51 record with the Illini, a run highlighted by the team qualifying for three bowls, including the 2008 Rose Bowl.
Thomas said the search for a new coach will begin immediately. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will serve as interim coach through the team’s expected bowl game appearance.