Illini Coach Ron Zook Let Go

Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will serve as interim coach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Ron Zook is no longer the coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini, the university announced Sunday.

    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.