Zook Earns National Coach Of The Year Honors

Coach Ron Zook
Coach Ron Zook

Dec. 20, 2007

American Football Monthly, a top resource for football coaches, in association with Schutt Sports, announced the Schutt Sports Coaches of the Year for 2007 today. The nation's leading manufacturer of football helmets and gear, Schutt Sports, has been selecting Coaches of the Year--in all football divisions--for more than a decade.

Illinois' Ron Zook has been selected as the 2007 Schutt Sports Coach of the Year for the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). Under Zook, the Illini lead all FBS teams in turnarounds; Ithe Fighting Illini went from a 2-10 season in 2006 to 9-3 this past fall. In the process, they upset top-ranked Ohio State and won a berth in the Rose Bowl.

"What Coach Zook and his staff did this season was nothing short of remarkable," said Billy Rice, Schutt's National Promotion Manager for Football. "After two frustrating seasons of 2-9 and 2-10, Coach Zook turned it completely around, beat Ohio State in Columbus, and (the Illini) were in every game they played. He is certainly deserving of the Schutt Sports Coach of the Year Award." Zook beat out four other finalists for the award--Hawaii's June Jones, LSU's Les Miles, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, and Arizona State's Dennis Erickson.