Byrd leaves Illini football, Lovie hires two new assistant coaches


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach Gill Byrd is leaving the program after two years in Champaign.

“The Byrd family loves the Smith family,” Byrd said in a statement. “As Christians, my wife and I have always functioned under the principle that you finish what you started. Because of the priority that God places on the family and because of an illness in our family, we believe our time is up here in Champaign-Urbana. I would like to thank Lovie and everyone at the University of Illinois for the great time we’ve had while in Champaign-Urbana. The future is bright for both the Byrds and the University of Illinois football program.”

Byrd’s departure means cornerbacks coach Keynodo Hudson will now take over the secondary as a whole. Head coach Lovie Smith also announced two additions to his staff Friday evening. Alfred Davis will coach defensive tackles, coming from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Jimmy Lindsey takes over defensive ends after spending the prior three seasons at Western Kentucky. It follows Austin Clark’s departure for the NFL, he joined the Miami Dolphins earlier this month.

“Jimmy Lindsey and Alfred Davis fit our staff as well as you could hope for,” Smith said in a statement. “Coach Lindsey has coached some outstanding players during his career and is a proven recruiter at each of his previous coaching stops. He has a great reputation in coaching edge rushers and comes highly recommended.

“Coach Davis is a rising star in the coaching world,” Smith said. “The work he has already done at an early age is impressive and we are getting a high-energy coach who also should be an outstanding recruiter.”

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