CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois assistant Cory Patterson will be back with the Fighting Illini next season, becoming the first coach from the last era to be retained on head coach Bret Bielema’s staff.
“After meeting Cory a few weeks ago, I came away impressed with his passion for coaching and the Illini family,” Bielema said. “During our transition, he will now coach our running backs and work with us in recruiting to find the individuals who can best help us win championships. We couldn’t be more excited to have Cory return as a member of our coaching staff and for him and his family to remain here in Champaign.”
Patterson, who was serving as tight ends coach, will now coach running backs. 2021 will mark his fourth season with the Illini after serving as head coach at Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis, Mo. Patterson has had a hand in recruiting the area, including getting the commitments of Isaiah Williams, Reggie Love, James Frenchie, and Shammond Cooper.
Four of Bielema’s assistant spots have now been filled. One of the largest roles yet to be filled is defensive coordinator.