New Illinois coach Bret Bielema is in attendance for the Illini's game at Penn State
Rest assured, Illini fans: New Illinois coach Bret Bielema is in the building.
Bielema apparently made the trip to State College to watch his new team play against Penn State on Saturday evening.
Here’s a photo:
Happy to have you at Beaver Stadium tonight, Coach! pic.twitter.com/LYzfgV55f1
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) December 19, 2020
He was treated to an entertaining first half, as Penn State and Illinois put up 42-21 score at half time. For the curious, the folks at Action Network had the total for this game set at 54.
Bielema was officially named Illinois’ next head coach on Saturday morning.
He’s already been pretty accessible, even outlining some of his in-state recruiting strategy.
However, Bielema has a long road ahead to make Illinois as successful as it wants to be. A coach hasn’t left the Illinois job with a winning record since John Mackovic in 1991. Mackovic turned that run of success into the Texas job, and the Illini haven’t been as good since.
Still, Bielema’s success at Wisconsin is a good indication that he’ll be able to turn things around.
Bielema’s first task will be improving Illinois’ 2021 recruiting class. The Illini signed 14 players during the Early Signing Period, but the class currently ranks last in the Big Ten according to 247Sports Composite rankings.