Illinois Fires Zook

By WEEK Producer

November 27, 2011 Updated Nov 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM CDT

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois has fired head football coach Ron Zook. The announcement was made Sunday less than 24 hours after the Illini completed a collapse that saw them lose their last 6 games of the season.

Zook spent 7 years in Champaign but only had 2 winning seasons while compiling a 34-51 record (18-38 in the Big Ten).

Saying it was time for a change of leadership athletic director Mike Thomas elevated defensive coordinator Vic Koenning to interim head coach in the event the team receives a post-season bowl invitation.

Zook appeared at a press conference where he said he had no regrets.

"I think our program is really close, I really do. We just didn't finish a few games here and there, but I'm proud of how close we are," said Zook.

Even though Thomas relieved Zook of his duties he also had praise for the man whose guided the football program for the past 7 seasons.

"You make these decisions for a variety of reasons. Ron Zook is a fine human being and it was easily apparent in the short time that I've been with him. And as I told him this morning if it was about Ron the person he certainly would be worthy of a lifetime contract.," said Thomas.

Zook had 2 years remaining on his contract and will receive a $2.6-million buyout.