Search for new head coach begins

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Eastern head football coach Bob Spoo announced last year that he would retire after his 25th season, and now athletic director Barbra Burke has announced that the position is open.

“Eastern Illinois athletics is posting the position at this time in order to be able to move forward with the hiring of a new coach for Eastern Illinois football at the conclusion of the season,” Burke said in a press release. “This in no way is meant to distract from our remaining contests.”

The Panthers, who currently hold a record of 1-7, have three games remaining on their 2011 schedule.

“Based on hiring procedures within the university, we felt this was the correct time to open the search and not lose valuable recruiting days for a coach and his staff once they are hired,” Burke said in a press release.

Spoo, who has been the head coach of the Panthers for 25 seasons, is No. 4 on the list of longest tenure at a Division-I school by a coach. Spoo has coached football for 50 total years at the high school and collegiate levels.

“I have the utmost respect for Coach Bob Spoo and it is our intent to support him in his remaining games while at the same time it allows us the opportunity to open dialogue with potential candidates,” Burke said in a press release. “Our ultimate goal is to continue the success and tradition that is EIU Panther football.”

There is currently no time-table for the search.

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]