The Daily Illini

Smith hires son to staff, adds cornerbacks coach

Smith hires son to staff, adds cornerbacks coach

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

February 11, 2019

Lovie Smith’s Illinois football staff is going to look different in 2019.  Gone are the likes of former defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson as well as several coaches who have been in the program for a while, like former offensive line coach Luke Butkus, who joined the Green Bay Packers, and strength a...

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus headed to Green Bay Packers

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus headed to Green Bay Packers

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

February 7, 2019

The Illinois football coaching staff "shakeup" continued Thursday as offensive line coach Luke Butkus jumped to the NFL. Butkus, who served as the Illini offensive line coach for the last three seasons as well as one previous season in 2012, is set to become an assistant offensive line coach with the G...

REPORT: Thad Ward to leave Illini football program

REPORT: Thad Ward to leave Illini football program

By Meghan Rest, Assistant sports editor

January 30, 2019

After two years with the Illini running back coach and creator of Illinois’ “Littyville” recruiting slogan Thad Ward is leaving Illinois to pursue a job at Temple University as a receiver’s coach, according to footballscoops.com Ward came to Illinois in March of 2016 after coaching at Norther...

Jeff Thomas flips back to Hurricanes

Jeff Thomas flips back to Hurricanes

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

January 17, 2019

Over the past week, there was plenty of speculation regarding the status of Jeff Thomas in the Illini football program. On Monday, the situation was thought to be finally cleared up. In an interview with The News-Gazette, Thomas provided what many thought to be a confirmation he would be joining th...

NCAA transfer portal vests power in student-athletes

NCAA transfer portal vests power in student-athletes

By Miles Powers-Huang

January 17, 2019

Over the past week, there was plenty of speculation regarding the status of Jeff Thomas in the Illini football program. On Monday, the situation was thought to be finally cleared up. In an interview with The News-Gazette, Thomas provided what many thought to be a confirmation he would be joining th...

Illini land big recruits, transfers during offseason hot streak

Illini land big recruits, transfers during offseason hot streak

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

January 14, 2019

With recruiting season in full swing, head coach Lovie Smith is doing all he can to improve his roster. The Illini have been heavily involved in both recruiting transfer players as well as high school prospects, and the program went on a hot streak as the New Year began. With joint-leading tackler Del’Shawn Phill...

Georgia tight end Luke Ford announces transfer to Illinois

Georgia tight end Luke Ford announces transfer to Illinois

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

January 5, 2019

Players returning home after testing the waters down south has been a common theme this offseason for Illini football. Georgia freshman tight end Luke Ford from Carterville, Illinois, announced via Twitter on Friday he is transferring to Illinois. Ford follows in the footsteps of East St. Louis wide-receiver...

ICYMI: Illinois lands four-star LB Shammond Cooper

ICYMI: Illinois lands four-star LB Shammond Cooper

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

January 4, 2019

With joint-leading tackler Delshawn Phillips set to graduate, the Illinois football program was looking to land a replacement to complement rising junior Jake Hanson in its 2019 linebacking corps. Head coach Lovie Smith found just that with a commitment from 2019 four-star linebacker Shammond Cooper. Cooper...

ICYMI: Illinois lands transfer wide receiver, Jeff Thomas

ICYMI: Illinois lands transfer wide receiver, Jeff Thomas

By Meghan Rest, Assistant Sports Editor

December 22, 2018

Illinois head football coach, Lovie Smith, added to his 2019 recruiting class with another St. Louis-area all-star. The Illinois football program announced Friday that after spending the last two seasons at the University of Miami, wide receiver, Jeff Thomas, will be making the move back to Illinois. T...

Season-defining themes repeat in loss to close Smith’s third year

Season-defining themes repeat in loss to close Smith’s third year

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

November 26, 2018

The finale of Lovie Smith’s third year at Illinois repeated familiar themes. Illinois failed to convert on multiple opportunities to score, allowed another team to dominate them with the run game and dropped an abundance of passes. Lovie Smith has won four Big Ten games along the way to a 9-27 ...

Lovie Smith’s contract extended

Lovie Smith’s contract extended

By The Daily Illini Sports Desk

November 25, 2018

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman announced Sunday head football coach Lovie Smith's contract has been extended a further two years, through the 2023 season. “We recognize that our work is far from finished, with improvement needed in every phase of our program's development, but our plan...

Northwestern loss concludes regular season

Northwestern loss concludes regular season

By Tatiania Perry, Staff writer

November 24, 2018

Illinois fell to in-state rival and Big Ten West Champion Northwestern to conclude the season Saturday. After last week’s record-breaking 63-0 defeat handed out by Iowa, Illinois was hoping to get the “bad taste out of its mouth” before the season was finished, according to head coach Lovie...

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