The latest changes to Bill Cubit's coaching staff are the most sweeping yet.
Cubit announced a slew of shakeups to his staff Friday morning, chief among them that co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks was leaving the program to pursue other interests and that Ryan Cubit and Mike Phair were promoted to the roles of offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, respectively.
Additionally, Cubit announced that former Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is now the team's permanent running backs coach, former Illinois quarterback Jeff Hecklinski is the team's new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach and that former Illinois offensive line coach A.J. Ricker has returned to that position.
Banks spent four seasons as the Illinois defensive coordinator, including last season as a co-defensive coordinator alongside Phair. His defenses performed poorly in 2013 and 2014, leading to the program bringing in Phair. But last season, under both Banks and Phair, the Illinois defense played very well, ranking 32nd in the country in total defense.
Ryan Cubit, Bill's son, worked as an assistant on his father's staff at Western Michigan. Last season, he was promoted to the position of quarterbacks coach with the Illini and had an increased role in play-calling once Bill Cubit was named interim head coach but retained the title of offensive coordinator.
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"I feel extremely confident in both Mike and Ryan as coordinators," Bill Cubit said in Friday's announcement. "Ryan was basically the offensive coordinator this past season as we worked very closely on the offensive game plan during the week. I've leaned on him both times he has been on my coaching staff as we have very similar thoughts on our offense.
"Mike brought a high level of energy and expertise to this staff, and I was very impressed while watching him operate. He is extremely prepared to install a game plan and call his own defense, and it was very apparent that the players responded well to him last year."
Ricker spent two seasons as Cubit’s offensive line coach at Western Michigan before joining him at Illinois in the same capacity in 2013. Ricker then left to become the offensive line coach at Missouri, his alma mater, in 2014 and 2015.
Hecklinski spent two seasons as a quarterback at Illinois. He worked as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Colorado State Pueblo this past season after four seasons as the assistant head coach and running backs coach at Michigan under Brady Hoke.
Friday's announced staff changes come in the wake of losing three assistants over the past month. Earlier this week, Illinois announced that offensive line coach Tom Brattan wasn't retained. Prior to that, Cubit announced that special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Alex Golesh and inside linebackers coach Mike Ward would be leaving the program.