Illinois football hires West to fill out coaching staff

The Illinois football team has filled its coaching staff with the hiring of Ron West, head coach Ron Zook announced on Monday.

West, whose official position has not been announced, has 30 years of collegiate coaching experience under his belt and has previously worked with new Illini defensive coordinator Vic Koenning when the two were at Clemson University, where Koenning was the defensive coordinator and West was the outside linebackers coach.

West is the final addition to the Illini staff, which has undergone a lot of changes since the 2009 season ended with a 3-9 record.

“I am excited to complete this staff with the hiring of Ron West,” Zook said in a press release. “He and Vic (Koenning) have a great working relationship and that will add a needed cohesiveness as we move forward on the defensive side of the ball. Ron shares our passion for getting this program back on track and will be a great teacher and leader for our young men.”

Last season, West was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tulsa.

Before moving to Tulsa, he was part of the Clemson staff for 10 seasons, from 1999 to 2008, coaching the offensive line for five seasons and then the outside linebackers for five years.

“I am very excited about being a part of this staff and working in the Big Ten,” West said in a press release. “This is a program that has been established and is just two years removed from the Rose Bowl, so I felt like it was a great opportunity to compete for a championship, especially with coach Zook working hard to get back to that level. I am excited about being reunited with Vic (Koenning). 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.”

Zook also announced the naming of tight ends coach Greg Nord as recruiting coordinator and adding the title of assistant head coach to offensive line coach Joe Gilbert.

From Daily Illini staff reports