January 2013 Archives
It probably shapes up as one of college football's toughest jobs. But Bill Cubit sounds confident he can perk up Illinois' listless offense.
Introduced Wednesday, Illinois' new offensive coordinator said he believes a unit that finished last in the Big Ten in scoring (16.7 ppg) and yards (296.7) can be molded into a successful group.
``I'm looking for a long, long time here and a lot of winning,'' said Cubit, who's made a quick film study since Tim Beckman hired him. ``There is talent here. I think they all can play. You just have to put them in the right spots.''
Cubit, 59, was hired officially at Illinois on Monday, but apparently has been surveying his new assignment since early January, when he reportedly signed on.
He was fired in November after eight years at Western Michigan, where he was 51-47 but fashioned some potent offenses. He also has been an offensive coordinator at Missouri (2000), Rutgers (2001-02) and Stanford (2003-04), during a coaching career that began in 1975.
``The evaluation process for me is, `What can we do to get a good offense in here?' '' said the Sharon, Pa., native, adding that he'll run an offense that's tailored to his players' strengths. ``In this league, you have to be balanced, and you have to spread them out, too--because the talent level is not going to be up to par vs. some of the teams we play. You have to find a way. That's what we've always done.''
Cubit said he's liked Beckman's approach since their Mid-American Conference days. He had other offers, but Illinois ``was a no-brainer,'' he said, because of his belief in Beckman and his fondness for the Big Ten's tradition.
``I have a lot of respect for coach Beck,'' Cubit said. ``He's given me free rein. This is what I want to do. Everywhere I've been, it's been a reclamation project. I kind of like that. I enjoying giving kids a plan and all of a sudden you're pretty successful. That's been my whole career. That's what I want to do.''
Bill Cubit was named offensive coordinator Monday by coach Tim Beckman, confirming speculation that Cubit, who was fired after eight years as Western Michigan head coach, would be coming to Champaign.
``I'm very excited to have an experienced coach like Bill Cubit join the staff,'' Beckman said in a news release. ``He's has always been known to have an outstanding football mind. Bill has had many extremely productive offensive teams during his career. He has called plays for many years, and has developed several outstanding quarterbacks.''
Cubit, 59, succeeds co-coordinators Chris Beatty, who was fired, Billy Gonzales, who coach wide receivers.
``I have a lot of respect for Tim and his teams,'' said Cubit, who was 51-47 at Western Michigan. ``I'm enthused about joining a great staff and being a part of the Illinois football tradition. I look forward to getting to work immediately and competing for a Big Ten championship.''
Under Cubit in 2011, Western Michigan finished 18th in the nation in points (35.3) and 19th in total offense (458.5 yards per game).
Presumably, the hiring of Cubit will help Beckman clear up one of his public-relations no-fly zones. Late in the season, eyebrows were raised when Beckman said Beatty called plays on first and second downs, while Gonzales handled third down.