Tank Wright is beefing up his staff at Illinois. The former Army defensive line coach, hired earlier this month to head the Illinois strength and conditioning program under new head coach Bret Bielema, is using his connections at West Point to bring in an assistant.

GC Yerry, who has spent the past two years as the assistant football strength and conditioning coach, is joining the staff at Illinois in a similar role. He will be reunited with Wright, who was on Army’s staff last year.

Most recently, Wright was with Army as the defensive line coach under head coach Jeff Monken. With Army since 2014, Monken is 49-39 and has a 3-1 bowl record during that time. This past season, Williams’ first and only at West Point, the Black Knights went 9-3.

It is a good pedigree that Bielema is bringing to Champaign.

Wright, a former standout defensive lineman at Arkansas from 2008-12, had spent time in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He started his coaching career as a strength coach at Arkansas before moving to Michigan in 2018 as their associate director of football strength and conditioning.

He now will get back to his roots of strength and conditioning after his one season foray into defensive line coaching. Bringing Yerry on board helps with that transition back to his role.

Before joining Army in 2019, Yerry was the director of athletic performance at Stony Brook. Yerry played and lettered in basketball and baseball at Stony Brook, including a College World Series appearance in 2012.

While on staff at Arkansas, Wright worked under Bielema, who left a successful Wisconsin program to move to the SEC. Bielema spent five seasons at Arkansas beginning in 2013, a spell where he was 29-34 with three bowl appearances. Since then, he has been on staff with the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.