The Illinois Coaching Staff

#1,776      
While many liked the Bart Miller introductory press conference, I thought Ryan Walters was much more impressive! Really a fan of his maturity and communication skills, at just 34 years old. I realize Lovie is/was a defensive coach, but I just feel like our defense will improve five-fold over the next three years under BB and RW!! Can't wait to see things progress starting this spring.
What's not to like about either one? And the good news is, they're both now on staff!
 
#1,777      
I'm impressed with the selections so far. I hope one of the remaining slots is not allocated to a full-time Special Teams coach. I just don't see that as a good use of resources. Our need for improved recruiting far outweighs anything potentially brought to the table by a Special Teams coach who can't or won't hustle for recruits.
 
#1,778      
Just realized like Jamison that Bart Miller coached at Air Force too (though different years). Interestingly, he coached TEs — Ben’s new responsibility at Illinois.
The coaches aren't just connected to BB. Several them have coached with each other before. That's got to be a good sign. (y)
 
#1,779      
Not that I know anything, but I thought BB made a point of stating how much he valued the STC, and now it is a split position? Am I missing something, or am I simply overreacting due to lack of knowledge? I am very excited about the group as a whole so far, just confused.
It's not uncommon to split special teams responsibilities -- an offensive coach handles FGs, PATs, and return game, while a defensive coach handles Kickoffs, punts and coverage teams. Or something along those lines.
 
#1,781      
Dang it, couldn't resist. I was gonna wait until the staff was finalized.

So like, the big fear was bigger than Petersen, it was the idea that Petersen meant Bielema was struggling to hire quality people, and particularly quality people with experience working with him. Because that's the fear with Bielema, the negative reading of his resume, that he kinda showed himself to be a clown at Arkansas and isn't to be trusted outside of the very pre-structured setup in place at Wisconsin. Petersen was a red flashing light in that regard.

The hires made since make crystal clear that that fear was wrong, full stop. The rest of the staff is really good, worth the money we're spending, and has a number of people with a lot of credibility and capital eagerly returning to Bielema's side after having played or coached for him. We hired Bielema in large part because of the opportunity and ability to bring in this kind of staff (though I am still looking for a couple of solid gold recruiters in the last two spots. I'd rather not Bellamy at WR but I'll live if that does end up being the case).

But the Petersen thing remains what it is. That's probably the most important spot on the staff, and we filled it with a totally baffling and shaky choice. Still, with the benefit of hindsight and context, clearly Bielema didn't just scrape him off the bottom of the barrel, that's the guy he wanted, for whatever reason. And Bret Bielema has forgotten more about football than I will ever know. So what can you do but hope for the best, hope it works, and hope that if it doesn't, the very competitive salary we have allotted to Petersen can quickly and easily be transferred to someone better.

My expectation is that it won't work and we'll have a new OC before long. But far stranger things have happened.
Very well stated. Like you I thought petersen was a harbinger of a weak staff. At that time I'd have put the odds of achieving the current staff at about 5%.

Glad it's working out so well.
 
#1,782      
Had a little free time today so here we go.....This staff is night and day compared to the previous staffs, it is a true college staff that we haven't had since Zook.

Tony Petersen: A guy who knows what BB wants on offense and will be able to execute it. Plenty of experience calling plays and in multiple different offenses and will be able to adjust based of what we have on the roster instead of making the roster try and fit "his" offense. A guy BB can trust and a hard nosed coach which I like.

C-Patt: You all know why he is here. I have heard mixed reviews on C patt and wouldn't have been upset either way if he was retained or not. Think he is kind of on a one year prove it deal here. He should be a little better recruiter now that he has help from the HC.

Bart Miller: Young energetic coach who has a bright future in the business. Imo he is a great evaluator and teacher which is huge for the OL position especially at Illinois. Also a very smart recruiter who will help us open doors back up in Illinois.

Ben Miller: Another great teacher and another no nonsense guy. These guys will be coached up and coached hard which is what we are sorely missing here. Also you don't stay on a D1 staff as long as he did by accident.

Ryan Walters: A guy who is wise beyond his years. A really smart guy who connects well with the players and knows how to run a college defense. A great secondary coach who will pair well with Henry. I initially was suspect on him but once I found out he was calling the D for Odom since 2017 I was sold on him. Also seems to be a great motivator.

Terrance Jamison: Very similar to Bart Miller, younger guy with a bright future. Connects well with his players and recruits and like Bart will help us get back into the Illinois recruiting scene. Also a loyal guy to BB and another guy he trusts.

Andy Buh: This is the most interesting one to me (in a good way) a lot of experience and on paper probably the most overqualified for the position even if he was suspect as a DC. Has Special teams background like Ben Miller and knows the LB position and teaches it well. This hire has me question whether BB wants to try and bring in a younger recruiter to coach the ILB and learn under him and Buh.

Aaron Henry: Here is your guys recruiter. Also another BB guy and guy BB trusts. I think he is a decent young secondary coach and being paired will Walters will be huge.

This staff will coach the guys hard and are great teachers of their respected position groups. Will be a big change from the previous staff. As I alluded to a lot of guys BB trusts and know how BB wants to run things which is huge for a staff.
thanks, good stuff
 
#1,783      
The only one I’ve really had a pulse on was the DB hire. Think there is a chance Bellamy stays at WR, Aaron Motörhead might really be in play and possibly the broncos WR coach. For the last hire I think it depends on if he wants an inside LBs coach to go along with Buh or not.
isn't Motorhead a rock group? LOL
edit:

Illinois_2_AZ

beat me to it.
 
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#1,784      
The coaches aren't just connected to BB. Several them have coached with each other before. That's got to be a good sign. (y)
Yeah, Ben Miller said it was Bart Miller who connected him to BB. Having various guys who have coached with others would seem to be a plus.
 
#1,785      
Had a little free time today so here we go.....This staff is night and day compared to the previous staffs, it is a true college staff that we haven't had since Zook.

Tony Petersen: A guy who knows what BB wants on offense and will be able to execute it. Plenty of experience calling plays and in multiple different offenses and will be able to adjust based of what we have on the roster instead of making the roster try and fit "his" offense. A guy BB can trust and a hard nosed coach which I like.

C-Patt: You all know why he is here. I have heard mixed reviews on C patt and wouldn't have been upset either way if he was retained or not. Think he is kind of on a one year prove it deal here. He should be a little better recruiter now that he has help from the HC.

Bart Miller: Young energetic coach who has a bright future in the business. Imo he is a great evaluator and teacher which is huge for the OL position especially at Illinois. Also a very smart recruiter who will help us open doors back up in Illinois.

Ben Miller: Another great teacher and another no nonsense guy. These guys will be coached up and coached hard which is what we are sorely missing here. Also you don't stay on a D1 staff as long as he did by accident.

Ryan Walters: A guy who is wise beyond his years. A really smart guy who connects well with the players and knows how to run a college defense. A great secondary coach who will pair well with Henry. I initially was suspect on him but once I found out he was calling the D for Odom since 2017 I was sold on him. Also seems to be a great motivator.

Terrance Jamison: Very similar to Bart Miller, younger guy with a bright future. Connects well with his players and recruits and like Bart will help us get back into the Illinois recruiting scene. Also a loyal guy to BB and another guy he trusts.

Andy Buh: This is the most interesting one to me (in a good way) a lot of experience and on paper probably the most overqualified for the position even if he was suspect as a DC. Has Special teams background like Ben Miller and knows the LB position and teaches it well. This hire has me question whether BB wants to try and bring in a younger recruiter to coach the ILB and learn under him and Buh.

Aaron Henry: Here is your guys recruiter. Also another BB guy and guy BB trusts. I think he is a decent young secondary coach and being paired will Walters will be huge.

This staff will coach the guys hard and are great teachers of their respected position groups. Will be a big change from the previous staff. As I alluded to a lot of guys BB trusts and know how BB wants to run things which is huge for a staff.
BB ordered 2 Millers and a Jamison. I think we're in store for some partying and celebrating! ILL-
 
#1,787      
I think BB is hiring some young but experienced guys with fire in the belly. Hopefully, that energy will motivate the guys on the team to get better and attract guys to the team who have the physical talent and mental makeup to play hard-nosed football and strive for success.
Remember how we all wanted the young head coach that absolutely NEEDED to succeed at Illinois for his career to be anything? Seems like we have a handful of them now and I love it!
 
#1,791      
Always Illini
Central Illinois
In my opinion with no football experience but plenty of team building experience the Lovie years were good for the fact that they put us on a normal hire schedule that allowed us to get a solid head coach. What BB is doing seems to be putting a true coaching team together with different skills but a unified overall vision. Sometimes bringing the "splash" hires is what tears a coaching team apart so I have no problem with us not making that mistake. I trust those of you who know the football part of this that we have a coaching staff now that has the skills we need (a recruiter specialist or two wouldn't hurt) and it seems we have a head coach who knows how to run his staff - the skill I think is most important in a big time program head coach. We shall see but this looks much more like a man putting a coaching team together than anything I have seen at Illinois in a very long time.
 
#1,792      
Some top recruiters
Chris Haering - Wisconsin Special Teams Coach / 6 commits /$425K
Vince Marrow - University of Kentucky Tight Ends / 9 commits / $225K
Christian Robinson - University of Florida Line Backers / 7 commits
Aazaar Abdul-Rahim - Boston College Defensive Backs / 9 commits
Brian Polian - Notre Dame Special Teams / 12 commits
Archie Collins - Pitt Defensive Backs / 7 commits / $72K
 
#1,793      
Some top recruiters
Chris Haering - Wisconsin Special Teams Coach / 6 commits /$425K
Vince Marrow - University of Kentucky Tight Ends / 9 commits / $225K
Christian Robinson - University of Florida Line Backers / 7 commits
Aazaar Abdul-Rahim - Boston College Defensive Backs / 9 commits
Brian Polian - Notre Dame Special Teams / 12 commits
Archie Collins - Pitt Defensive Backs / 7 commits / $72K
I am pretty sure Aaron Moorehead won an award for top recruiter like 10 years ago.
 
#1,794      
Orange Krush '04 & '05
Some top recruiters
Chris Haering - Wisconsin Special Teams Coach / 6 commits /$425K
Vince Marrow - University of Kentucky Tight Ends / 9 commits / $225K
Christian Robinson - University of Florida Line Backers / 7 commits
Aazaar Abdul-Rahim - Boston College Defensive Backs / 9 commits
Brian Polian - Notre Dame Special Teams / 12 commits
Archie Collins - Pitt Defensive Backs / 7 commits / $72K
I first read these numbers as the budget they used to secure the commits :ROFLMAO:
 
#1,795      
Hopefully Lovie left enough that BB isn’t starting from scratch. My expectations are that passes aren’t completed against us uncontested down the middle, down the sideline, long, short, or medium or whatever else the other OC can think of.
 
#1,796      
Working From Home
Hopefully Lovie left enough that BB isn’t starting from scratch. My expectations are that passes aren’t completed against us uncontested down the middle, down the sideline, long, short, or medium or whatever else the other OC can think of.
Illinois fans' expectations in 2020: Please don't give up 500+ yards
*new coaching staff*
Illinois fans' expectations in 2021: 0 completed pass attempts against the defense for the entire season
*Welcome to Illinois, Bret!*
 
#1,797      
Cincinnati, OH
Some top recruiters
Chris Haering - Wisconsin Special Teams Coach / 6 commits /$425K
Vince Marrow - University of Kentucky Tight Ends / 9 commits / $225K
Christian Robinson - University of Florida Line Backers / 7 commits
Aazaar Abdul-Rahim - Boston College Defensive Backs / 9 commits
Brian Polian - Notre Dame Special Teams / 12 commits
Archie Collins - Pitt Defensive Backs / 7 commits / $72K

The problem is that, besides maybe Abdul-Rahim, each of these guys would want a pay bump + title promotion to come to Illinois. With the positions already filled on the new staff, the latter isn't possible without a massive bay bump. Maybe someone could carve out a run-game/passing coordinator or similar position depending on the $$$ left to spend on the staff but my guess is if that was the plan, that hire would have already been made.

Assuming that is correct, I'm more interested in finding a guy that is at a FCS or G5 staff that has shown recruiting potential and has strong connections to an area that BB is planning on prioritizing. Or see if you can poach a coach from a staff that is going to be on the hot seat, like a Nebraska (Travis Fisher would be a perfect example but I doubt he would leave Frost considering their UCF connection).
 
#1,799      
THIS DUDE HAS 9 SISTERS?

He is extremely passionate about Bret as a person....I like it

Also at the 20 min mark he said everyone he has talked to he believes is coming back
 
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