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REPORT: Ryan Walters is taking the Defensive Coordinator position at Illinois

Walters held the position in transition from Barry Odom to Eli Drinkwitz, but appears to be moving on to Illinois.

Twitter: @Coach_Walters

This morning a report from 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.

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