Big Ten: Jim Pry
Barring any late coaching changes, here's a look at who's gone, who's back and who's in new roles.
- Who's out: Mike Schultz (fired)
- Who's in: Paul Petrino (previously offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach at Arkansas)
- Who's out: Dan Disch and Curt Mallory both were demoted to position coaches. Disch is staying on staff as linebackers coach.
- Who's in: Vic Koenning (previously co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State)
- Who's out: Kurt Beathard (fired)
- Who's in: Jeff Brohm (previously quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic)
- Who's out: Jim Pry (fired)
- Who's in: Greg Nord (previously running backs coach/recruiting coordinator at Louisville)
- Who's out: Reggie Mitchell (left to become running backs coach/recruiting coordinator at Kansas)
- Who's in: DeAndre Smith (previously running backs coach at UNLV)
- Mallory left his position as secondary coach to become defensive coordinator at Akron.
- Special-teams coordinator Mike Woodford was fired along with Schultz, Beathard and Pry.
- Ron West was hired as a defensive assistant. His official responsibilities have not been announced.
Offensive line coach
- Who's out: Bobby Johnson (left to become assistant offensive line coach with the Buffalo Bills)
- Who's in: Myron "Mo" Moriarity (previously served as head coach at Carmel (Ind.) High School
No staff changes, but recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson was named tight ends coach. Wide receivers coach Erik Campbell previously had worked with the tight ends, while Johnson had helped Darrell Wilson with the linebackers.
- Who's out: Jay Hopson (left to become defensive coordinator at Memphis)
- Who's in: Quality control assistant Adam Braithwaite was promoted to outside linebackers/strong safeties coach. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson will take a more active role with the linebackers in 2010.
- Secondary coach Tony Gibson will continue to work with cornerbacks and free safeties, and also serve as special-teams coordinator.
Running backs coach
- Who's out: Dan Enos (left to become head coach at Central Michigan)
- Who's in: Brad Salem (previously served as head coach at Augustana College)
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
- Who's out: Jedd Fisch (left to become quarterbacks coach with the Seattle Seahawks)
- Who's in: Jeff Horton (previously served as quarterbacks coach with the Detroit Lions)
- Who's out: Richard Hightower (left to become assistant special-teams coach for the Washington Redskins)
- Who's in: Steve Watson (previously served as associate head coach with the Denver Broncos in 2008)
- Running backs coach Thomas Hammock was named co-offensive coordinator
No coaching changes
No coaching changes
No coaching changes
Defensive line coach
- Who's out: Terrell Williams (left to become defensive line coach at Texas A&M)
- Who's in: Gary Emanuel (previously served as defensive line coach at Rutgers). Emanuel also was named co-defensive coordinator with a focus on run defense.
Defensive backs coach
- Who's out: Kerry Cooks (left to become outside linebackers coach at Notre Dame)
- Who's in: Chris Ash (previously served as defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator at Iowa State)
- Randall McCray, who served as Wisconsin's recruiting coordinator and assistant secondary coach, left to become defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee. Wisconsin has yet to fill the vacancy.
As ESPN.com reported earlier today, Illinois has announced the departures of four assistant coaches: offensive coordinator Mike Schultz, quarterbacks coach Kurt Beathard, receivers coach Jim Pry and special teams coordinator Mike Woodford.
In addition, Zook announced that co-defensive coordinators Dan Disch and Curt Mallory both will be demoted to position-coach roles next fall.
So Illinois will be replacing coordinators on both sides of the ball.
"These are some major coaching staff changes," Zook said in a statement. "Obviously we are not happy with the way the past two seasons have gone, but we believe in this program and its ability to rebound with the necessary decisions. I can't thank these coaches and their families enough for how hard they worked, for the heart and soul they poured into Illinois football. These are good, good people. These are the most difficult days in our business. I really wish all of them the very best in any future endeavors. I truly mean that."
Illinois has no news conference scheduled regarding the staff changes.
Athletic director Ron Guenther said Oct. 24 that changes would be coming, though Zook would be back in 2010. Guenther since has made no public comments about Zook or the program.
After a miserable 3-9 season, the coordinators figured to be in trouble, but this is quite a dramatic shakeup.
You have to wonder if Illinois wouldn't be better served to bring in an entirely new regime, but Zook will have one more chance to turn it around in 2010. Few head coaches will have a hotter seat than Zook, who now must revive Illinois' recruiting efforts and hope more players don't hop on the transfer train out of Champaign. Boosters are unhappy with the program's direction, and attendance likely will drop next fall.
The offense was a disaster during the first half of the season but seemed to be making progress since a 38-13 win against Michigan on Halloween. Schultz spent just one season at Illinois after an 11-year run with TCU. Think he'd rather be preparing for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl right now?
The defense was a disaster late in the season, as Illinois allowed 102 points in its final two games. It seemed likely that at least one of the coordinators would go, but instead they'll move into lesser roles. Zook tried to hire Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson as his defensive coordinator last year, and Disch turned down a coordinator job at South Florida to remain with Illinois.
Several of Zook's remaining assistants, namely Disch and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell, are also some of his top recruiters.
The coordinator hires will be absolutely critical for Zook, but he needs to find coaches willing to be part of a win-or-else season in 2010. Should be interesting to see where this goes.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Mike Locksley's departure to become head coach at New Mexico leaves Illinois without its offensive architect and top recruiter. Arguably no assistant coach in the Big Ten brought in a better recruiting haul than Locksley, who landed wide receiver Arrelious Benn, cornerback Vontae Davis and defensive end Will Davis, among others.
But Illini head coach Ron Zook won't have trouble finding a replacement at offensive coordinator. Zook's phone has been flooded with calls the last 48 hours, including recommendations from Georgia head coach Mark Richt, former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer and Penn State offensive coordinator Galen Hall.
Hmmm, I wonder who Hall is pushing for the job (Jay Paterno?). Nothing against Fulmer, but Zook should be a little leery of hiring anyone associated with Tennessee's offense this season.
"What makes you busy is that it's a job that a lot of people want," Zook said. "It makes you feel good because people have taken notice, they've seen the progress we've made and they realize we've got some talent here. Now, we've just got to coach it up and get them ready to where they're supposed to be."
Locksley doesn't expect to bring "major guys" from the Illinois staff with him to New Mexico. If Zook chooses to stay in house, wide receivers coaches Jim Pry and Kurt Beathard, both of whom have offensive coordinator experience, would be top candidates.
Though Locksley served as a mentor for quarterback Juice Williams and others, Zook assured his players Tuesday that "nothing's going to change."