Thursday, May 07, 2009

On the Sidelines

The Illini football team won't take the field for a few months, but this summer will give the new coaching staff a chance to put together a game plan to get the Illini to a bowl game this year.

The biggest change on Zook's staff is the loss of Mike Locksley as offensive coordinator. Locksley is preparing for his first season as head coach of the New Mexico Lobos. He is a fantastic coach and recruiter, and he deserves the chance to run his own program, but he will be missed in Champaign.

The new offensive coordinator is Mike Schultz, who comes to the Illini from the TCU Horned Frogs. Schultz has a solid resume, and in 2008 he helped the Frogs set single-season school records for points scored (420) and touchdowns (54). His offense led the nation in time of possession (35:05) and were 13th nationally in team rushing (215.7 yards per game) despite not having a player among the top-100 individually. Let's hope Juice, Benn and company adjust well to Schultz.

Other adjustments on the offensive side of the ball include moving Kurt Beathard from outside receivers to QB coach. And Joe Gilbert joins the Zooker as Offensive Line coach. He was most recently in Houston. Gilbert replaces Eric Wolford, who left the Illini for the same position with Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks.

On the defensive side of the field, Dan Disch and Curt Mallory continue as co-defensive coordinators, but Kieth Gilmore joins the team as Defensive Line coach. Gilmore comes most recently from Cincinnati, where his group ranked second in the Big East. He replaces Tom Sims, who was let go from Zook's staff, but quickly found a home at Kansas.

So what will this mean for the 2009 Fighting Illini? It's way too soon to tell, but Mark Tupper says the defense made progress this spring. Let's hope that continues this summer at training camp...

And although we have a few months to wait, Go Illini!



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Perfect View

I spent last weekend in Champaign-Urbana. I had a wonderful weekend! Thanks to Chief and Good Hope Orange for letting your wives come. It was so good to see them. One (of the many) highlights of the weekend was a hotel room with a perfect view: Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall front and center, with other campus landmarks in the background.

In other news:


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?