Report: Bret Bielema narrows Illinois DC search to three finalists
Bret Bielema is putting the finishing touches on his first staff at Illinois, and a report has surfaced that he has narrowed his search for a defensive coordinator to three finalists.
According to John Brice with Football Scoop, Bielema is looking at assistants from Missouri and Oklahoma State, as well as a head coach from FCS power Wofford:
Multiple sources tell FootballScoop that Bielema’s been conducting interviews with Missouri’s Ryan Walters, Oklahoma State’s Jim Knowles and Wofford’s Josh Conklin.
Conklin out of Wofford may surprise some people, but he does have previous Power 5 experience. He was the defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh for three seasons before leading the Terriers to a 17-9 overall mark from 2018-19. Wofford has not played in 2020.
Brice also reported that a decision could be made as early as Tuesday.
— John Brice (@JohnDBrice1) January 5, 2021
Bielema’s staff has already seen a number of additions, including adding Mark Taurisani as director of football operations, luring him away from Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan staff. Bielema also added Tank Wright as strength and conditioning coach on Sunday.