NFF MONDAY NOTEBOOK: Illinois hire sLovie Smith as its head football coach

Lovie Smith hired at Illinois.
National Football Foundation News
The Mountain West announced its 2016 football schedule... The Sun Belt Conference released its full 2016 football schedule... BYU officially announced its 2016 football schedule... Coastal Carolina announced its 2016 schedule... The 2016 Army-Temple game has been moved to Friday, Sept. 2... Illinois announced the addition of eight future home football games... The future football series between BYU and Notre Dame has been reduced to just one game.

Illinois hired Lovie Smith as its head football coach... Shaw (N.C.) hired Adrian Jones as its head football coach...  Zach Tinker was named head football coach at the South Dakota School of Mines... Connecticut formally introduced David Benedict as its new director of athletics... Nevada approved a three-year contract extension for athletics director Doug Knuth... Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) announced Kimberly Pate as its new athletics director... Tusculum (Tenn.) appointed Doug Jones as director of athletics.

Conference Realignment 
Beginning with the 2018 football season, the Sun Belt Conference will be a 10-team football league, eliminating the current membership agreements that are in place with Idaho and New Mexico State.

College Football Playoff and Bowl Games
The College Football Playoff announced that this year's Semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31, will begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively, on ESPN.  Additionally, the Capital One Orange Bowl will be played on Dec 30 on ESPN... The Fiesta Bowl announced its 2016-17 Executive Board.

Awards and Honors
College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock was named the recipient of CoSIDA's 2016 Keith Jackson Eternal Flame Award... Rece Davis, the host of ESPN's College GameDay, was named the 2016 recipient of CoSIDA's Jake Wade Award for contribution in the media to the field of college athletics... Iowa's Gary Barta, Northwestern's Jim Phillips, Mississippi State's Scott Stricklin and San Diego State's Jim Sterk are among 28 winners of the 2015-16 Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award... Southern California's Tim Tessalone and Southern Connecticut State's Rick Leddy are among the members of the 2016 CoSIDA Hall of Fame Class... Football players Derrick Henry (Alabama), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford), Keenan Reynolds (Navy) and Deshaun Watson (Clemson) are among the semifinalists for the 86th Annual AAU Sullivan Award, which is presented to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

 The new turf design for West Virginia's football stadium has been revealed... Cincinnati is replacing the artificial surface inside Nippert Stadium... Designs were released for West Texas A&M's proposed on-campus football stadium...

Indiana announced the fundraising goal for the athletics department's capital campaign. 

Oklahoma State unveiled new football uniforms... The Lindenwood University system has signed a five-year agreement with Under Armour to be the exclusive outfitter of its sports teams on both its Illinois and Missouri campuses.

Community Service
Colorado defensive end Derek McCartney, the grandson of College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill McCartney, missed the first week of spring practice after being selected to donate bone marrow... Continuing the fight against cancer, the San Jose State football team joined forces with Wipeout Cancer to host the inaugural Sports Day for Kids at Spartan Stadium.

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