Publish date:

Video: Illinois assistants share what led them to Bret Bielema's staff

Illinois bringing Bret Bielema back to the Big Ten has been one of most compelling storylines of the off season hiring cycle.

After dominating the league at Wisconsin before leaving for Arkansas, Bielema spent a handful of years in the NFL with Bill Belichick and with the Giants before being tabbed with the task of building the Illini back up.

To build his staff, Bielema initially turned to some familiar faces.

Bielema's first Illinois staff consists of a handful of guys that he's worked with (or coached as players) before, mixed in with some other quality additions like SEC defensive coordinator Ryan Walters from Missouri to fill his defensive coordinator spot.

In this video, his coordinators and assistants make a brief appearance to share why they chose to come to Illinois to join Bielema's staff. It's a great way to communicate with both the fan base and future recruits about the way they see the future of Illinois football.

Revisit a full run down of the Illinois staff below, and catch up on the rest of the new FBS staffs via the FBS Staff Tracker page.





Bret Bielema

Head Coach

NY Giants – OLBs


Tony Peterson

Offensive Coordinator / QBs

App State – OC / QBs

Bart Miller

Offensive Line

Wyoming – OL

George McDonald

Assistant HC / WRs

NC State – WRs

Corey Patterson

Running Backs

Illinois – TEs

Ben Miller

Tight Ends

Air Force – STC / RBs


Ryan Walters

Defensive Coordinator

Missouri – DC

Terrance Jamison

Defensive Line

Purdue – Defensive Line

Andy Buh


Arizona – OLBs

Aaron Henry

Defensive Backs

Vanderbilt – DBs

Kevin Kane

Senior Defensive Assistant



Tank Wright

Strength and Conditioning

Army – S&C


Mark Taurisani

Chief of Staff

Michigan – Director of Operations