Illinois football head coach Lovie Smith was bid a fond farewell following a 2-5 2020 season and a 17-39 mark over five largely feckless years at the helm in Champaign. 

Former Wisconsin Badger and Arkansas Razorback’s head coach Bret Bielema was brought on board in the wake of the firing and, after the ship listed back to center, a mood of heady optimism has swept back through the historic concourses at Memorial Stadium. 

Coach Bielema has brought on board Ryan Walters to coordinate the Illini’s defense under the new regime. Walters was a safety at the University of Colorado in the early 2000’s when the Buffaloes played in the Big XII before transitioning into coaching. From a graduate assistant to a position coach, Walters last year was promoted to defensive coordinator at the University of Missouri, the same position he’s accepted with the Illini. 

Walters today met with the media to talk about his new job in Champaign. Some of his remarks can be perused through below.