Lovie Smith's coaching staff is finally complete.
Two weeks after Smith was introduced in Champaign as the Illini's new head football coach, Illinois announced the final addition to his coaching staff in new running backs coach Thad Ward. Ward spent the past three seasons as the wide receivers coach at Northern Illinois.
Ward's hiring completes Smith's staff. Previously announced hires include offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, who joins the Illini after two seasons in the same role at Louisville.
Defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson spent the past two seasons as the linebackers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bob Ligashesky is the new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. He spent the past four seasons as an NFL special teams coordinator with both the Buccaneers and Houston Texans.
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Luke Butkus returns to Champaign as the offensive line coach, a role he had before in 2012 under Tim Beckman. The former Illini captain also worked under Smith as an assistant with the Bears.
Andrew Hayes-Stoker is the Illini's new wide receivers coach. He had the same job under Smith in the past two seasons with the Buccaneers and worked as an assistant with the Bears.
Tim McGarigle was hired as an Illinois assistant by Bill Cubit prior to the latter's dismissal. The Northwestern alum stays on as Smith's linebackers coach after four seasons at Western Michigan.
Mike Phair, hired as co-defensive coordinator under Tim Beckman and promoted to defensive coordinator under Cubit, stays on as Smith's defensive line coach. Phair worked under Smith with the Bears from 2011 to 2013.
Paul Williams was hired as the new Illinois defensive backs coach by Cubit and retained by Smith. Williams spent the past five seasons at Miami.