Illinois Confirms Return of Luke Butkus as Offensive Line Coach


CHAMPAIGN -- The first official piece of Lovie Smith's new staff at Illinois was announced Thursday.

Luke Butkus, a former Illinois player - and O-line coach under Tim Beckman in 2012 - will return to Champaign-Urbana.

In between, Butkus spent three years as offensive line coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"The Butkus name is associated with the University of Illinois and the game of football as a sign of excellence and toughness," Smith said. "I'm very proud to be able to announce Luke Butkus as the first member of our coaching staff as coach of the offensive line. I've known Luke since he was on our staff with the Chicago Bears, and have followed his career since. He relates extremely well to the players he coaches and will play an important role in the growth of our program."

The nephew of Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, Luke was an offensive assistant/assistant offensive line coach for the Chicago Bears from 2007-09 while Smith was the head coach.

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