One time Super Bowl coach 17-39 over five years in Champaign, 10-33 in Big Ten play. An opening 45-7 loss at Wisconsin set the tone for the season and except for a win at equally lowly Nebraska, the Illini showed few signs of improvement over past years.
In a statement, Athletic Director Josh Whitman praised Smith, 62, for his unquestioned integrity and unshakeable leadership - especially during the current pandemic.
All true, but sadly winning remains the top requirement for continued employment. Many thought coaches would get a pass this year, but nine schools have made coaching changes, one coach (Jay Hopson, Southern Mississippi) resigned and seven others cut loose for not meeting expectations. Arkansas State's Blake Anderson resigned to take the Utah State position.
The 10th coaching change of 2020 occurred a short time later when Auburn parted ways with Gus Malzahn (who gets a $21.45 million buyout) after eight seasons. A normal season sees around 20 coaching changes out of the 130 FBS school, expect around the same number this year, including another one-time Super Bowl coach who resides in the Big Ten.