Bob Ligashesky Named Illinois Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends CoachPosted:
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (Illinois Athletics) - Bob Ligashesky has been hired as the Fighting Illini’s special teams coordinator/tight ends coach, Illinois head coach Lovie Smith announced. Ligashesky most recently served as the special teams coordinator for the Houston Texans.
“Bob Ligashesky has been one of the outstanding special teams coaches in the nation for many years,” Smith said. “He brings in an incredible amount of experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, and earned a reputation as a terrific recruiter when he was at Bowling Green and Pittsburgh prior to his career in the NFL.”
Ligashesky has 31 years of coaching experience, including more than three seasons as a special teams coordinator in the NFL. He spent the first 19 years of his coaching career in college football, most recently during a four-year stint at Pittsburgh from 2000-03, before coaching in the NFL for the past 12 seasons.
Last season, Texans kicker Nick Novak made 18 of 21 field goals and 29 of 31 extra points, and punter Shane Lechler averaged 47.3 yards per punt under Ligashesky. Houston allowed 10.2 yards per punt return and 24.4 yards per kickoff return without allowing a score against during the regular season.
Ligashesky helped Randy Bullock have the most successful year of his career in 2014, setting career-highs with 30 made field goals on 35 attempts, including a career-long 55 yard field goal. Ligashesky was the interim special teams coordinator for Houston’s last three games of 2013 before taking the full-time position.
Ligashesky’s first special teams coordinator position came in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay led the NFL with four blocked punts while Ligashesky led the special teams units.
Prior to his season in Tampa Bay, Ligashesky coached the Denver Broncos tight ends in 2010 before moving on to Oakland as a special teams assistant in 2011. He spent three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-09), helping the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2008 as special teams coach.
Ligashesky made stops in St. Louis (2005-06) and Jacksonville (2004) in special teams positions following his tenure with the Pittsburgh Panthers (2000-03), where he was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Before Pitt, he was at Bowling Green (1991-99) following a two-year stop at Kent State as the outside linebackers/special teams coach.
Ligashesky started his career with graduate assistant jobs at Wake Forest (1985) and Arizona State (1986-88). The Pittsburgh native graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was a defensive back.
Ligashesky and his wife, Shelley, have one daughter, Sydney, who was born in 2009.
Ligashesky’s Coaching History
1985 - Wake Forest, graduate assistant
1986-88 - Arizona State, graduate assistant
1989-90 - Kent State, outside linebackers/special teams coach
1991-98 - Bowling Green, linebackers/special teams coach
1999 - Bowling Green, assistant head coach/linebackers/special teams
2000-03 - Pittsburgh, tight ends/special teams coordinator
2004 -- Jacksonville Jaguars, assistant special teams coach
2005-06 - St. Louis Rams, special teams coach
2007-09 - Pittsburgh Steelers, special teams coach
2010 - Denver Broncos, tight ends
2011 - Oakland Raiders, special teams assistant
2012 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, special teams coordinator
2013 - Houston Texans, interim special teams coordinator/special teams assistant
2014-15 - Houston Texans, special teams coordinator
2016 - Illinois, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach