The University of Illinois Board of Trustees has approved the contract for head coach Bret Bielema, as well as contracts for eight staff members with the Illini football program. Jeremy Werner of 247Sports reported the news on Thursday evening.

Bielema’s contract is a 6-year deal worth $26.7 million The head coach is scheduled to make $4.2 million in total compensation in his first year with the program and will receive a $100,000 increase each year through the remainder of his contract.

Illinois decided to make a change at head coach after the program endured another losing season under Lovie Smith. Bielema was hired before the Fighting Illini’s final game of the 2020 season on Saturday, Dec. 19 against Penn State.

Along with the approval of Bielema’s contract, the Board of Trustees also approved contracts for eight assistant coaches. Those assistants, along with their salaries:

  • Ryan Walters: $850,000
  • Tony Petersen: $750,000
  • Bart Miller: $475,000
  • Andy Buh: $450,000
  • Tank Wright: $400,000
  • Terrance Jamison: $350,000
  • Aaron Henry: $340,000
  • Ben Miller: $315,000

Bielema takes over the Illinois program after previous stops at Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach. The Illinois native is looking to turn the team into a consistent winner in the B1G.