Illinois football had to juggle the assistant coaching ranks for the 2022 season.

On Tuesday, the program announced that assistant coach Ben Miller will remain on health-related leave through the 2022 season. Miller is battling colon cancer but will maintain as much contact as possible with the Illini staff and players during his leave.

“The past few months away from football have been difficult, but it has given me time to be with my family and focus on my health,” said Miller. “I have a few more challenges ahead but have received encouraging news about my diagnosis. I have completed four months of chemotherapy and am awaiting liver surgery in August. I will be undergoing more chemotherapy during the fall and will miss the majority of the 2022 season. Treatment is going as planned, and I’m fortunate to be receiving the very best treatment by world-class physicians. I’m also blessed to be a part of a first-class organization at the University of Illinois. I would not be where I am without the support of my family, Coach Bielema, Josh Whitman, the Illini football famILLy and, of course, Illini Nation. I-L-L!”

“Ben continues to impress me and all of our football famILLy in his approach, fight, and faith,” said head coach Bret Bielema. “He will be missed on the sideline but we are excited to have him with our student-athletes as much as his treatments and NCAA rules allow. Ben and I knew this scenario was a possibility since February. We created a plan together that we are confident will give our student-athletes the best opportunity to succeed, while maintaining his health as the #1 priority.

“As part of that plan, we are excited to have Sean Snyder join our Illini FamILLy as our special teams coordinator/specialists coach. Sean and I have a long history, first as teammates then as assistant coaches together, and he is always someone that I have respected. He is an accomplished special teams coach with 10 years of Power-5 coordinator experience and over 25 years total in college football. I am thrilled to be reunited with Sean and his family here in Champaign.”