CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois head football coach Lovie Smith put the finishing touches on his coaching staff Monday with the hiring of Thad Ward as running backs coach.
Ward spent the past three seasons at Northern Illinois, where he coached wide receivers.
"Thad Ward will bring a new level of energy to our program," Smith said. "He has been successful at each stop of his career, and is a proven recruiter. Thad has helped develop several outstanding players along the way, and I'm confident our current players will respond to his coaching in a positive way."
Ward, Smith, and company will start spring ball April 1st.
2016 Illinois Football Coaching Staff
Lovie Smith - Head Coach Garrick McGee - Offensive Coordinator/QB's Hardy Nickerson- Defensive Coordinator Bob Ligashesky- Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Luke Butkus- Offensive Line Andrew Hayes-Stoker- Wide Receivers Tim McGarigle- Linebackers Mike Phair- Defensive Line Paul Williams- Defensive Backs