Pink Slips for College Football Coaches
Lovie Smith is out as Illinois' head football coach after five seasons, the school announced Sunday. Illinois called a team meeting Sunday to inform players of the decision. The Fighting Illini fell 28-10 to No. 14 Northwestern on Saturday to finish their regular season at 2-5. Illinois is slated to play the eighth game this week during the Big Ten championship weekend.
Smith, 62, went 17-39 (10-33 in the Big Ten) in five seasons at Illinois, his first stop in college football since 1995, when he coached defensive backs at Ohio State. He had a lengthy NFL career that included head-coaching stops with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith guided the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006 and went 81-63 with the team.
And after eight seasons leading Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn is gone.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after the Tigers finished the regular season with a 6-4 record after beating Mississippi State 24-10 on Saturday.
Sources told ESPN's Chris Low that Malzahn was informed of his firing just before a team meeting on Sunday. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will take over as interim head coach.
Malzahn finished with a record of 68-34. He is owed $21.7 million, 50% of which is due in the first 30 days.