Antonio Fenelus named Illinois Defensive Backs Coach

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#26      
With Henry knowing the way he wants to coach the DB’s - getting a great recruiter who you can mentor as a DB coach makes a lot of sense for that role

I think they go with more proven experience for the LB role now
 
#29      

Ryllini

Lombard
Will turn out to be an elite hire … Very well connected … Knows ball …

Bret wanted him last time but he wasn’t passing on Henry obviously …

I’d expect RB & OLB coach to take a little more time … NFL guys are going to interview …
With a RB coach typically being a more recruiting-centric spot on a collegiate staff, why wait for an NFL guy in that spot?
 
#32      

Ryllini

Lombard
I'm dumbfounded. Hope it works out.
Why? Coach B and Coach H should have earned some leash given what they have accomplished. Secondary is all about communication from the players to the coaching staff. He and Henry have a long relationship. I don't know a ton about him, but for some reason I'm jacked up about this hire.
 
#34      

derrick6

Illini Dawg
Seattle
I don't think anyone knows anything about him except for BB. Why not go after Hawthorne then if we were going to do this? He could be a perfect fit and good recruiter, i guess we will see now.
Red Wave ;)

He definitely looks the part, which does not always translate.
 
#38      
Why? Coach B and Coach H should have earned some leash given what they have accomplished. Secondary is all about communication from the players to the coaching staff. He and Henry have a long relationship. I don't know a ton about him, but for some reason I'm jacked up about this hire.
You missed the point. He was not talked about. I hope it works out.
 
#39      
Obviously I've never heard of this guy, but this is what the profile of the next rainmaking recruiter looks like. It is a young man's game.

And I can imagine that BB and Henry see it as a big plus that this is someone who really knows their culture and the big picture elements of their scheme, so it's not going to be a steep learning curve or tons of translation work. And it's not just the coaching aspect, this is someone who really knows what he's selling to kids in BB and Henry, he's not some mercenary.

I think there's a bit of a fundamental tradeoff between having a decorated and qualified staff and having an up-and-coming hungry staff who really attack the grind and the recruiting trail and all of it. We erred badly on the side of the former with Lovie's initial staff (and then started hiring guys with neither), and I think we were just a bit too far to that side as well with BB's staff as well.

You can go too far the other way, but I'm not going to worry about that too much yet.
 
#42      
Anyone questioning Bielema’s ability to hire staff doesn’t know his history.
And it should be mentioned, Brian Kelly, love him or hate him, is also an elite staff hirer, and he kept Fenelus on.

This is obviously a high-caliber person who is going to be familiar and comfortable with what he's being asked to do by his former teammate and coach.

The downside risk in all of this is very simple and obvious: we don't have Ryan Walters anymore. It is what it is, next man up. It's crystal clear that continuity is being emphasized over change on that side of the ball.
 
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#43      
By the way, the story with the D2 defensive coordinator thing is that Al Johnson, former Badger star who was a GA alongside Fenelus at UW in 2016-17 got hired as the head coach at D2 East Central University in Oklahoma and brought Fenelus along as DC/DB coach. So it was a Badger adventure down there he got coaxed into.

It went okay, that was a down-on-its-luck school that Johnson rebuilt to some degree of success, and wound up becoming interim athletic director (you go down the divisions and it gets real fly-by-night real fast), but Johnson left this past season to go back to Wisconsin as RB coach (not sure if Fickell has retained him).

I would imagine both guys would say the experience taught them that Power Five football with its resources and structure is where they belong, but I'm sure they both learned a ton.
 
#45      
With all due respect, but talked about where? Here? Probably not a bad thing that all of the candidates aren't known to this or any other board. I am also with you, I hope it works out and I think it will.
(y)
 
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