This is a good day for Illinois football, and Illinois sports in general, which has been lacking for the past 2 decades. How long has it been since Ron Turner or Bruce Webber took the Illini into meaningful competition? Too long. Lovie Smith brings immediate credibility to the program.
Bears fans know Lovie from his days with the team. He didn’t have as much post season success, but he did bring the Bears to the only Super Bowl since Mike Ditka. That was the only championship in the Super Bowl era. Smith now takes his game to the NCAA where, he will no doubt institute a pro-style program, and dare I say, a path to the NFL?
It will be interesting to see who he tabs for his coaching staff. Lezlie Frazier could be his defensive coordinator. He has plenty of former players who might be interested in coaching. Mike Brown? Hunter Hillenmeyer? Maybe even Brian Urlacher?