5 O'Clock Shadow

5 O'Clock Shadow

To read about new defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, click here.

The easy thing to do, Ron Guenther said, would have been to pander to the masses and fire the football coach.

In his first press session since Oct. 24, Guenther talked Friday about a wide range of topics. The emphasis was on football, specifically his decision to keep Ron Zook as coach.

“When you go through a coaching change, you almost lose eight, nine months in terms of just general culture, new recruiting territory, people introducing themselves to high school coaches they don’t know," Guenther said. "The decision was made, do you still think that he can get us back to where we’ve got to go, number one. Number two, what does he need to get us back there? I felt the fastest way back was to retain, but make changes. I didn’t know if it was two changes, three changes, five changes. I did not care. All I cared about was that we get back on the track as fast as we could.”


News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

TotalIlliniFan wrote on December 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

His use of the word pander is very telling about how he sees himself and his role with the fans (I mean masses). It generally means to provide a form of gratification. However you define it, the bottom line is he sees the average fan as way beneath himself. The title "Lord" Gunther continues to ring ever true.

dgcrow wrote on December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

TotalIlliniFan: Exactly. His Lord Guenther has spoken. There will be no pandering. The masses must now be silent.

jlanman wrote on December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Personally, I think Coach Gunther's approach has provided the University of Illinois footall program with it's best option to compete quickly. I'm impressed and excited about the new hires. Maybe Notre Dame should have taken a similar route.

dgcrow wrote on December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

jlanman: In spite of my earlier remarks, I sincerely and truly hope that you are correct. The new coordinators do both look promising.

ATLIllini wrote on December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Wow...does RG have a Napolean complex or what?

UIfansarehomers wrote on December 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Guenther never said pander. read it again.

PeoriaIllini wrote on December 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm


Where are you seeing the word pander, or a Napolean complex?

MyTurn2Raze wrote on December 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Why would Illinois change the direction of its offense?

kfj wrote on December 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Lets get positive about the 2010 Foorball team and their season! Go Illini!!

tlappin wrote on December 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I see "pander" in the second paragraph. Guenther seems to have the decision criteria wrong. "Pandering to the fans" or not isn't the problem he should be solving. The real issue(s) are how does Illinois football stop making every quarterbck they face look like Joe Montana and how does Illinois stop making the dumb mistakes?

tlappin wrote on December 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Like not spelling quarterback correctly.

rwschm wrote on December 20, 2009 at 7:12 am

"pander" was the word Bob used --it's not a quote folks...

bowspray wrote on December 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Guenther displays gross poor judgment by suggesting these fallacies:

- Recruiting...Keeping Zook may not hurt recruiting but Zook comes in to close the deal not scout the talent.He has fired a handful of coaches who did have productive recruiting results with solid high school contacts.Some of them worked the same states for years.Check out where some of the young Freshman/Sophmore players came from.The new coaches may help with their contacts next year but Zook is one man and he has dumped some coaches who have delivered some good talent.The new crew will have to start over and will be of little help in this recruiting cycle.

-Guenther talks about the "general culture".The team under Zook had one good year.He symbolizes the culture and the reality that Illinois has been a losing team with declining results.To put all that on a handful of coaches and leave Zook standing is absurd.We know Zook was no innocent bystander and we also know he is THE major factor in the failure of Illinois football.It still appears that to fire Zook and bring in a new Head Coach would have been the prudent choice.If that happened,the new guy would have cleaned house,probably kept some coaches and started fresh.

We are now in the mode of selling "Hope and Change".It worked for Obama.Maybe it will work for Zook and Guenther.I`m sorry...I`m not optimistic. I`ve seen this show before and it never has a happy ending.