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Friday, February 25, 2011
Illinois' hiring of Mike Gillhamer official

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

It's official: Illinois has hired veteran NFL assistant Mike Gillhamer to fill its defensive staff vacancy.

The team didn't specify which position Gillhamer will oversee, but multiple outlets are reporting he'll coach the secondary and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will switch from secondary to linebackers. Gillhamer replaces linebackers coach Dan Disch, who left earlier this month to become defensive coordinator at Southern Miss.

"Mike is very detail-oriented, a great teacher, an excellent recruiter and understands defenses and the techniques required to be successful in the secondary," Illinois coach Ron Zook said in a prepared statement. "Being able to find a coach with Mike's NFL and collegiate background is a tremendous statement about how the Illinois football program is perceived by other coaching professionals."

Gillhamer has coached defensive backs for eight college programs as well as for the Carolina Panthers, where he spent the past seven seasons as safeties coach.