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Illini stay in-house to replace Gonzales

Illinois New Coach Football AP

A couple of weeks after Billy Gonzales left Illinois for the SEC, Tim Beckman has found a positional replacement.

The Illini confirmed Wednesday that Mike Bellamy has been promoted from a support-staff role to wide receivers coach.  Bellamy had spent the 2012 season as the Illini’s assistant director of player personnel and relations.

“Mike Bellamy will be a terrific addition to the Fighting Illini football staff,” said Beckman in a statement. “I’ve had a chance to observe Mike over the past year, and the job he did coordinating campus recruiting visits, maintaining communications with our former players and engaging with the current team was outstanding.

“He has a tremendous amount of knowledge about the wide receiver position, and as a former Fighting Illini player, an immense amount of pride and passion for the institution. I have no doubt Mike will be a great wide receivers coach and member of our coaching staff.”

Bellamy’s only previous coaching experience at the collegiate level came at Clark-Atlanta University in 2011.  Prior to that, he was a coach at the high school level for three years.

The release added that Bellamy, who was a first-team All-Big Ten receiver in the late eighties, “built a successful business in the beauty industry in the Atlanta area” with his wife following a seven-year career in professional football that ended in 1996.

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