Originally written on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/12/14
In 2009, a very underachieving Illini football team finished 3-9. Picked as high as third by some Big Ten and college football pundits, the horrible record was nothing short of a catastrophe for the resume of Ron Zook and the Illinois program. Or so I thought. Logic dictated then Illinois Athletic Director Ron Guenther can Zook then and there. Unfortunately, Guenther had FOOLISHLY given Zook a big, expensive contract extension before that season, and buying him out would have been just about financially impossible. So what did Guenther/Illinois do? They doubled down on a losing hand. Sort of. They brought in two flashy, expensive coordinators to take as much responsibility off of Zook’s plate as possible. Vic Koenning for the defense, Paul Petrino for the offense. So which one gets the gig now? The first answer is/was Paul Petrino. He comes from the name brand coaching/family tree, and was considered the initial hot coaching commodity of the two. In 2010, he guided the offense to ...
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