WCIA — Former Illinois running backs coach Thad Ward will be making his return to the Illini staff in the same role in 2023, the school announced on Monday.

Ward previously coached under Lovie Smith from 2016 to 2018, before leaving to coach receivers at Temple. Ward spent the 2022 season at Kansas State as the wide receivers coach. Before Illinois, Ward also coach wide receivers at Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

With this addition, the Illini will have all 10 assistant roles filled after Antonio Fenelus and Charlie Bullen joined earlier in the offseason.