Illinois completes coaching staff with West

February, 8, 2010
2/08/10
2:58
PM ET
Illinois' massive coaching staff shuffle is now complete, as the school named veteran Ron West as a defensive assistant on Monday.

No role was specified for West in a news release, but he will reportedly work alongside Dan Disch, the team's former co-defensive coordinator who will now work with the inside linebackers. West replaces Curt Mallory, who left last month to become Akron's new defensive coordinator.

The Illini also named new tight ends coach Greg Nord as recruiting coordinator and added assistant head coach to offensive line coach Joe Gilbert's title. Nord served as recruiting coordinator at Louisville, his last coaching stop.

West previously served as co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Tulsa. Before Tulsa, he spent 10 seasons on Clemson's staff, where he worked under new Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. West coached both sides of the ball at Clemson.

"[West] and Vic have a great working relationship and that will add a needed cohesiveness as we move forward on the defensive side of the ball," Zook said in a statement. "Ron shares our passion for getting this program back on track and will be a great teacher and leader for our young men."



The connection with Koenning clearly fueled the move for West, who said in a statement: "I am excited about being reunited with Vic. The last time we were together, the defense was in the top 10 in the country. We'll expect to create that passion on defense that puts us in national rankings."

Although the shuffling on Illinois' defensive staff wasn't as dramatic as the offensive side, it will be interesting to see how these coaches work together. Disch's role is much smaller, Koenning and West are new and line coach Keith Gilmore is the only holdover in the same position.

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