Illinois Athletics announces football coaching staff changes

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photo courtesty of Fighting Illini athletics

Passing Game Coordinator/Safeties Coach Gill Byrd poses for a headshot. Byrd’s departure bookends career working with Lovie Smith.

By Daily Illini Sports Staff

Illinois Athletics and head coach Lovie Smith announced changes to the football program’s coaching staff on Friday.

Illinois football defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach Gill Byrd has chosen to leave the program, but Alfred Davis and Jimmy Lindsey will join the staff as defensive tackles and defensive ends coaches, respectively.

“The Byrd family loves the Smith family,” Byrd said per Illinois Athletics. “As Christians, my wife and I have always functioned under the principle that you finish what you started. Because of the priority that God places on the family and because of an illness in our family, we believe our time is up here in Champaign-Urbana. I would like to thank Lovie and everyone at the University of Illinois for the great time we’ve had while in Champaign-Urbana. The future is bright for both the Byrds and the University of Illinois football program.”

Byrd’s departure from the program bookends a career working alongside Lovie Smith including stints at the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Gill Byrd is like a brother to me,” Lovie Smith said per Illinois Athletics. “We have coached together at four different stops and he has had an incredible influence on the teams and players at each place he’s been. As good a coach as he is on the field, Gill is even a better person. I hope for nothing but the best for Gill and his family. We will miss him greatly around our program.”

Keynodo Hudson will also transition from cornerbacks coach to coaching all defensive backs this coming season.

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