Bill Cubit led Illinois to a 5-7 record in 2015, including 2-6 in the Big Ten, which tied for fifth place in the West Division. Cubit had the interim tag removed from his title on Nov. 29 when he was given a two-year contract.
Whitman said that because of the timing of this decision, spring football practice (scheduled to start Friday, March 11) will be delayed until a new head coach is in place and can coordinate a schedule.
"I appreciate the leadership that Bill Cubit provided our football program during what has been, unquestionably, a very tumultuous time," Whitman said. "He accepted the challenge on an interim basis under incredibly difficult and unusual circumstances, and he has continued to work diligently for the betterment of our student-athletes. Through his efforts, he has kept the program moving forward. Bill is a good man and a good football coach. All of us in the Illini Nation owe him a debt of gratitude for his work leading our team these last months. At this juncture, however, I think it is most important that we position our program for long-term success by creating a more stable environment for the coaches, players, and prospective student-athletes."