Ryan Walters officially tabbed as new Illini Defensive Coordinator


ST. LOUIS, Mo- The University of Illinois made if official Thursday, announcing Ryan Walters would leave the coaching staff at the University of Missouri and join Bret Bielema’s staff in the same capacity.

“It is a great pleasure to bring Ryan here to the University of Illinois Football Family,” Bielema said in a statement. “Ryan has demonstrated great success in his coaching career as an assistant, as a coordinator and as a leader of young men. He’ll be a great addition to our staff to help us motivate, recruit and develop a roster full of champions.”

Walters gives Bielema’s staff some added experience recruiting the St. Louis region.

The Missouri football program congratulated him on the move on social media.

Walters was one of several defensive coaches Eli Drinkwitz retained from the Barry Odom era at Missouri. Walters interviewed for the Colorado head coaching vacancy during last offseason and is seen as a young rising star in the coaching world.

The Missouri defense struggled during the second half of the 2020 season, giving up more than 35 points in six of the team’s ten games in what was an all-SEC schedule, often times with thin roster numbers on the defensive side of the ball due to COVID-19 protocols.

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