Bret Bielema reunites with former Wisconsin player and SEC assistant at Illinois
Bret Bielema is reuniting with another former assistant, adding Aaron Henry to his Illinois staff on Tuesday.
Henry comes to Champaign after a year at Vanderbilt in 2020. Prior to that, Henry spent time at NC State and was a part of Bielema’s staff at Arkansas. He also had a brief stint at Rutgers.
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) January 13, 2021
During his playing days, Henry played for Bielema’s Wisconsin Badgers from 2007-11. Bielema addressed his long relationship with Henry in his comments on the hiring:
“I first saw Aaron Henry on the practice field as a high school sophomore, offered him a scholarship and eventually he became an All-Big Ten player for us,” Bielema said. “He has now grown in the coaching profession coaching at several Power Five, as well as other Big Ten schools. It’s a tremendous opportunity to bring Aaron to the University of Illinois and allow him to continue to develop young men. It’s a great pleasure to welcome him and his fiancé to the Champaign-Urbana community.”
Henry called the position at Illinois a great opportunity, along with the opportunity to learn under new DC Ryan Walters:
“I am beyond excited to be reunited with Coach Bielema at the University of Illinois,” Henry said. “I played and coached for Coach B, and it truly feels like he is putting together a family. Additionally, I’m really excited to learn from Ryan Walters. Even though I’m not originally from Illinois, it genuinely feels like I’m coming home. I’m elated to be back in the Big Ten. I can’t wait to help impact the young men in our football program and to get to work!”