posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 08:52 PM
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Former Florida coach Ron Zook will take over at Illinois, sources told the Associated Press on Monday.
Zook's hiring as head coach will be announced at a news conference Tuesday, said two senior university officials speaking on the condition of
He will replace Ron Turner who was fired Nov. 22 after the team went 3-8.
Florida fired Zook on Oct. 25 after an embarrassing loss at Mississippi State. Zook coached the Gators for the rest of the season, finishing 7-4,
including 3-1 after he was fired, and getting an invitation to the Peach Bowl.
Zook's firing at Florida came after two-plus years with the Gators, satisfying a growing groundswell for his ouster that began the day he replaced
Steve Spurrier, who left for the NFL.
Ron Zook doesn't get any down time as he steps right into the Illinois gig. (AP)
Ron Zook doesn't get any down time as he steps right into the Illinois gig.(AP)
Zook was 23-14 with Florida and had some impressive victories, including two over Georgia, one over eventual national champion LSU last season and an
upset of Florida State on Nov. 20. It was the Gators' first win in Tallahassee since 1986. That may have been Zook's final game with Florida. He has
not said whether he will coach the Gators in a bowl game.
Turner was fired after Illinois had just one Big Ten victory in two seasons. Just three years ago, Turner led the Illini to their first conference
title in a decade.
Illinois won only once in 2003 and lost 14 Big Ten games in a row before defeating Indiana 26-22 on Nov. 6. Two of the Illini's four wins in the past
two seasons have been against Division I-AA opponents, Illinois State and Florida A&M.