Come-from-behind win against Penn State keeps Illinois' hopes of reaching a bowl game alive.
David Reisner hit a 36-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give Illinois the win.
Mike Dudek finished with 6 receptions, 80 yards and hauled in two touchdowns for the Illini.
Offensive coordinator sparked dramatic improvement in first season
Illinois has gone from averaging 16.7 points per game in 2012 to 37.0 so far in 2013
Illinois vs. Northwestern (November 30, 2013)
Bill Cubit is in his second season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois in 2014. He was hired in January 2013 following an eight-year stint as head coach at Western Michigan. Cubit led WMU to a 51-47 overall record and three bowls during his tenure in Kalamazoo.
Cubit guided the Illini offense to a dramatic improvement in his first year, as Illinois jumped at least 50 spots in the national rankings from 2012 to 2013 in first downs, passing offense, long scrimmage plays, total offense, passing efficiency and scoring offense, with the biggest turnaround an 95-place leap in first downs per game. His 2013 unit ranked third in school history in passing yards per game (287.7) and fourth in total yards per game (426.7) and points per game (29.7). Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase posted the third-most yards of total offense in a season in school history under Cubit in 2013 and broke the school record for completion percentage.
Cubit's 2011 Western Michigan squad set records for points (459), touchdowns (58), pass attempts (554), completions (369), passing yards (4,385), total yards (5,960), offensive plays (945), first downs (320), passing first downs (204), kick returns (63), kick return yardage (1,409) and total return yards (1,658). In 2010, two of his receivers (Juan Nunez and Jordan White) topped 1,000 yards in receiving, before White earned consensus All-America honors in 2011 while leading the nation in receiving yards and receptions.
Cubit brings 33 years of coaching experience, including 17 years as a head coach on the collegiate and high school level. He also has spent eight years as an offensive coordinator at five NCAA Division I schools working the sidelines in five of the nation's premier conferences (Big East, Big 12, Mid-American, PAC-10 and Southeastern).
Prior to returning to Western Michigan as head coach in 2004, Cubit served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Stanford in 2003, directing a Cardinal offense that ranked 28th in NCAA passing (247.3 yards per game). Prior to his time at Stanford, Cubit served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers (2001-02) and at Missouri in 2000.
In his first stint at WMU from 1997-99, Cubit oversaw an offense that ranked in the NCAA Top 25 in passing offense, scoring offense and total offense in back-to-back seasons. In 1998, the Broncos were the nation's 20th-highest scoring team with an average of 32.7 points per game, and were 20th in the nation in 1999 with an average of 31.1 points per game. His quarterback during that period was Tim Lester, who finished fifth in NCAA career passing yards (11,299) and seventh in career touchdown passes (87).
Cubit's head coaching experience includes five seasons (1992-96) at Division III Widener University in Philadelphia, Pa. He led the Pioneers to a 34-18-1 mark, two Middle American Conference championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances while twice being named conference coach of the year.
Other collegiate stops for Cubit include two years (1990-91) as running backs coach at Akron, a season (1989) as quarterbacks coach at Florida, three seasons as assistant head coach (1985) and the secondary coach (1983-85) at Central Florida and two years (1975-76) coaching running backs and receivers at Swarthmore College. As a high school coach, Cubit compiled a nine-year record of 79-15-2 at three different programs - Martin County (Fla.), Academy Park (Pa.) and his alma mater, Sharon Hill.
A Sharon Hill, Pa., native, Cubit (59 years old/DOB: 10-14-1953) earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Delaware in 1975. He played quarterback and wide receiver for the Blue Hens (1971-74), earning Associated Press All-America honorable mention in 1974. He also set school records for catches in a game (10) and a season (47), along with receiving yards in a season (787).
In 1981, he earned a master's degree in education from Saint Joseph's University. Cubit and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children: Stacey - who was married on March 3, 2007 - Sheri and Ryan, who is director of football student-athlete development for the Fighting Illini. Cubit also has three grandchildren.
Updated July 2014