Illinois is expected to hire former RB coach Thad Ward back to the program to coach running backs once more. Ward worked this past season as Kansas State’s wide receivers coach.

Ward was Illinois’ running backs coach from 2016-2018. Prior to working at Kansas State, Ward was hired at Temple to be their passing game coordinator. He took the WR coach job for the Wildcats in 2022.

Before his first stint at Illinois, Ward worked at Gardner-Webb, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois as wide receivers coach for each program.

Ward will replace Cory Patterson, who left  with former Illinois DC Ryan Walters to Purdue.