The Daily Illini

Rod Smith, Corey Patterson added to Illinois football staff

By Tatiania Perry, Assistant sports editor

On Friday, Illinois football head coach Lovie Smith named Rod Smith as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Lovie Smith hopes Rod Smith’s background, which includes 22 total years of coaching experience, the last six as co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Arizona, and 10 coaching appearances in bowl games, will bring a fresh look to the offense.

“Rod Smith brings terrific and exciting offensive experience to our staff at Illinois,” Lovie Smith said in a press release. “His background and development of dual-threat quarterbacks and multiple-threat offenses is the direction we are going here. Rod has developed explosive quarterback play and offensive performance at each of his coaching stops.”

In Rod Smith’s time with the Wildcats, he established a prolific offense, setting several single-game and season records.

Last season, his Arizona squad finished with a 7-6 record and appearance in the Foster Farms Bowl. The offense averaged 41.3 points (No. 5 nationally), 309.3 rushing yards, 180.2 passing yards and 489.5 total yards (No. 12 nationally) per game.

Rod Smith also coached quarterback Anu Solomon (2014-16) to the third-most passing touchdowns and fourth-most passing yards in Arizona history.

Lovie Smith also hired Trinity Catholic coach Cory Patterson from St. Louis as the tight ends coach on Friday.

Lovie Smith described Patterson as “an up-and-coming star in the coaching world”.

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