5 worst Illinois football coaching hires in program history

Throughout the history of the Illinois football program, we have hit some land mines when it comes to coaching hires.
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3 of 5

3. Gary Moeller - 1977-79

  • 6-24-3 overall
  • 22.7% win (2nd worst)
  • 3-8 best season
  • 0 bowl appearances

The No. 5 worst coach in program history was Bob Blackman. He was sub-.500 during his time in Champaign, and when he was fired, Illinois decided to replace him with Gary Moeller.

Moeller was an assistant coach with Michigan at the time under the great Bo Schembechler. On paper, this seemed like it could have been a good hire considering Illinois was still trying to recover from the slush fund scandal that took place in 1966.

While Illinois was looking for a savior, that didn’t come in the form of Moeller. He was hired in 1977 after a 5-6 campaign the year before. Moeller’s first year in Champaign boasted a 3-8 record overall. Things would only get worse from there.

In the three seasons at the helm, Moeller had a combined six wins. He was 6-24-3 while in Champaign, which gives him a 22.7% winning rate. This is bad enough to rank as the No. 2 worst win percentage in program history.

The best season under Moeller ended up being that 3-8 campaign in year one. He had a total of three Big Ten wins in three seasons as well. After he was fired at Illinois, Moeller went back to Michigan and eventually took over for Schembechler in the 1990s. For the Illini, he was one of the worst coaches of all time.