CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The football world is coming full circle for Aaron Henry. The former Wisconsin defensive back and Arkansas graduate assistant coach under Bret Bielema was named Illinois’ defensive backs coach on Tuesday night. The move reunites Henry with his old coach and boss.
“I am beyond excited to be reunited with Coach Bielema at the University of Illinois,” Henry said in a statement. “I played and coached for Coach B, and it truly feels like he is putting together a family. Additionally, I’m really excited to learn from Ryan Walters. Even though I’m not originally from Illinois, it genuinely feels like I’m coming home. I’m elated to be back in the Big Ten. I can’t wait to help impact the young men in our football program and to get to work!”
Henry spent last season as the Vanderbilt cornerbacks coach. Prior to his time in the SEC, the Florida native held the same position at North Carolina State. Henry got his first full-time coaching job at Rutgers in 2016 as DB’s coach, getting his start in the business at a grad assistant under Bielema in Arkansas.
“I first saw Aaron Henry on the practice field as a high school sophomore, offered him a scholarship and eventually he became an All-Big Ten player for us,” Bielema said in a statement. “He has now grown in the coaching profession coaching at several Power Five, as well as other Big Ten schools. It’s a tremendous opportunity to bring Aaron to the University of Illinois and allow him to continue to develop young men. It’s a great pleasure to welcome him and his fiancé to the Champaign-Urbana community.”
2020: Vanderbilt (Cornerbacks)
2018-19: North Carolina State (Cornerbacks)
2017: North Carolina State (Safeties)
2016: Rutgers (Defensive Backs)
2014-15: Arkansas (Graduate Assistant – Defense)