Following up on reports that surfaced over the weekend, Illinois has officially announced the addition of an assistant on the defensive side of the ball.
In a press release, the Illini confirmed that Greg Colby has been hired as Tim Beckman‘s defensive line coach. Colby will replace Keith Gilmore, who left for the same job at North Carolina a week ago.
The move is a homecoming for Colby, who played football and baseball for the Illini in the early-seventies, and served as assistant with the football program from 1988-95.
“Greg Colby brings a wealth of coaching experience and Fighting Illini historical football knowledge to our staff,” Beckman said in a statement. “Greg grew up in Danville, was a great student-athlete at Illinois, was on the coaching staff here for eight years, and has worked at several different successful programs since. He has built some outstanding relationships with his extensive recruiting experience in the Chicagoland area.
“Greg understands what it means to be a Fighting Illini football player and what it takes to be successful here. I have no doubt our players will respond very positively to him as a coach and as a person.”
The past five years, Colby was the head football coach at Div. II Millersville (Pa.) University.
Additionally, Colby has extensive ties to the Big Ten outside of his alma mater. He spent two separate stints at Michigan State (1986-88, 1995-97) as well as six seasons (2002-07) as the defensive coordinator at Northwestern.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to come back,” Colby said. “When I left and went to Michigan State in 1995, it was the intention to improve my coaching skills and come back here at some point in time, possibly finish my career here, and it has worked out. I’m going to do everything I can to help Coach Beckman take this program back to where it belongs, and in the short time I’ve been back on campus, I’m very confident that’s going to happen.”
(Photo credit: Millersville University)