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Illini reportedly hire Gillhamer as assistant

Illinois reportedly has filled its defensive staff vacancy with longtime NFL assistant Mike Gillhamer.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports Gillhamer will coach the Illini defensive backs. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning oversaw the secondary in 2010 but reportedly now will coach the linebackers.

Illinois linebackers coach Dan Disch left earlier this month to become defensive coordinator at Southern Miss.

Gillhamer coached the Carolina Panthers' secondary from 2004-10. He also has coached defensive backs at a number of college programs, including Louisville and Oregon. He served as Louisville's defensive coordinator in 2003 and worked alongside Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino with the Cardinals.

The Illinois vacancy generated good interest from candidates, and Gillhamer adds experience to the staff. He inherits a group that returns mostly intact and will regain the services of safety Supo Sanni this coming season.