The Daily Illini

Perry bets on NFL future with return to Bielema

Roderick Perry tackles the opposing ball carrier during the game against Iowa on Dec. 5.
January 21, 2021

Roderick Perry didn’t take the conventional route for furthering an NFL career. Perry, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, went across state lines and attended South Carolina State, an FCS school. After...

Bielema provides instant credibilty to struggling program

Senior defensive end Owen Carney (99) moves to tackle the opposing ball carrier during the game against Minnesota on Nov. 7.
January 20, 2021

For a split second, it appeared Lovie Smith had figured it out. The Illini, off two straight road victories, came out and punched Iowa in the mouth. Up 14-0 in the second quarter, the Illini’s Big Ten...

Bielema’s staff continues to take shape with three new hires

Andy Buh coaches at a Rutgers practice. Buh will work as the linebackers coach in the upcoming season for the Illinois football team.
January 12, 2021

Illinois head football coach Bret Bielema made three more hires over the past two days, adding Ben Miller, Terrance Jamison and Andy Buh to his coaching staff. The team announced Sunday morning that Bielema...

Sharing stories on social media: How Illinois’ athletic department handles online presence

Memorial Stadium rests largely empty during the game between Illinois and Purdue on Oct. 31, 2020.
January 10, 2021

This year, the tweets on the Fighting Illini Athletics Twitter account have ranged from PSAs telling fans to wear a mask to the latest plays from the No. 12-ranked men’s basketball team. In a year where...

Ryan Walters plans to adapt Illini defense for success, not system

Ryan Walters prepares to throw a football. Walters will be joining the Illinois football team as Defensive Coordinator
January 9, 2021

Ryan Walters' father played collegiate football at Colorado as a quarterback. So when he started playing football, being the signal caller seemed like a perfect fit.  Like his father, Walters chose...

Illinois, Bielema hire Mizzou’s Ryan Walters as defensive coordinator

Ryan Walters was announced as Illinois defensive coordinator on Thursday.
January 6, 2021

Bret Bielema has officially found his defensive coordinator in Mizzou's Ryan Walters. After reports surfaced from Football Scoop then ESPN's Adam Rittenberg early Wednesday morning about the hire, Illinois...

Dominant, consistent specials teams trio announce returns to Illini for fifth season

Senior Blake Hayes kicks a punt during a game against Nebraska. Hayes, along with snapper Ethan Tabel and kicker James McCourt will return to the Illinois football team next season.
January 6, 2021

Illinois will once again boast one of the strongest special teams groups in the country next year, with three key players returning for the 2021 football season. Long snapper Ethan Tabel, kicker James...

Bielema elects to keep St. Louis native Cory Patterson on staff

Cory Patterson meets with media after being hired on Jan. 26, 2018. Bret Bielema elected to keep Patterson on his staff as the running backs coach.
January 5, 2021

While many of Lovie Smith’s staff are expected to not return in 2021, Bret Bielema has decided to go in-house to keep tight ends coach Cory Patterson on board for the next era of Illini football.  While...

Defensive lineman Jamal Woods announces return to Illini

Jamal Woods celebrates with Tarique Barnes during the Wisconsin Oct. 23, 2020. Woods has elected to return to Illinois for a fifth year.
January 5, 2021

Senior defensive lineman Jamal Woods announced Tuesday on social media that he will be returning to the Illini for a fifth season, taking advantage of the NCAA's extra year of eligibility granted to all...

Bielema lands first commit, first transfer for Illini

Calvin Hart. Jr. announces his transfer to Illinois after two season at NC State. Bret Bielema secured his first transfer and commitment Tuesday morning.
January 5, 2021

Bret Bielema has wasted no time in getting to work on the recruiting trail for Illinos. While the new Illini coach has already secured several returning seniors, on Tuesday he received his first 2021 commit...

Tank Wright provides leadership, passion in the weight room

Tank Wright has recently been named the new Director of Football Strength and Conditioning.
January 5, 2021

He likes to go by the name Tank. He rejected NFL offers to become a strength and conditioning coach for college programs. He married his longtime girlfriend in a college weight room. He’s very unconventional.  However,...

Kicker James McCourt announces return to Illini for sixth season

Illinois senior kicker James McCourt kicks the game winning field goal during the game against Wisconsin on Oct. 19 at Memorial Stadium. McCourt will return to the Illini in 2021.
January 2, 2021

Senior kicker James McCourt announced Saturday that he will be returning to the Illini for his sixth season in Champaign, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to fall sport athletes. After...

Load more stories