Zook out as Illinois head coach

Ron Zook is no longer the head football coach at Illinois.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas made that decision on Sunday, one day after the Fighting Illini finished a 6-6 campaign after opening the season with six straight wins.

"I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership," Thomas said. "It is imperative that our program shows some consistency and competes for championships, and I think a change in coaches can help us get there sooner."

Thomas gave Zook some credit, saying the program is in better shape than when he took over seven years ago. During his tenure, Illinois went 34-51 with just two winning seasons, including a 9-4 record in 2007 that ended in a Rose Bowl appearance.

Zook, who was hired to replace Ron Turner on December 7, 2004, previously spent three seasons at Florida, where he went 23-14, reaching three bowl games.

Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was named interim head coach while the search for a new coach gets underway.