This morning a report from FootballScoop.com stated Mizzou DC Ryan Walters had accepted the same position at the University of Illinois.
Walters will join new Head Coach Bret Bielema in Champaign in an attempt to bring the Illini back to relevance following an unsuccessful Lovie Smith era.
Despite a few less than stellar performances this year from the defense, there were games where that unit anchored the Tigers to victory. Walters even was nominated for the Broyles award mid-season, an award given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
In his four years as Defensive Coordinator, Walters’ greatest success came with the 2019 team who gave up less than 20 PPG. This year, his unit took a step back giving up 32.3 PPG, albeit with a 10 game SEC schedule.
So while it may look like Bret Bielema and Illinois fans got “their guy” on staff, the Tigers and Eli Drinkwitz, have a search to conduct. We’ll keep track if the move is to look for an outside hire, or promote from within as they will try to replace an assistant that has been a staple in the program even through a head coaching change.
Football Scoop reports Ryan Walters is headed to Illinois as DC. Drinkwitz has potential internal candidates to promote but I imagine he'll look externally too https://t.co/x4UE4NMIA6— Colin O’Brien (@cpatobrien) January 6, 2021
Crazy stuff cut throat recruited me to leave https://t.co/mEccnhI7sj— Ennis Rakestraw Jr (@EnnisRakestraw) January 6, 2021
— Devin Nicholson (@dnich23) January 6, 2021
Strong sense I got from Mizzou earlier this week when report first surfaced about Walters talking to Illinois was MU was not worried about the situation - as in not worried about moving on should he leave.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 6, 2021
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