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Illinois Football Making an Addition to Defensive Staff

Archie McDaniel is the apparent hire for the Linebackers position on Aaron Henry’s defensive staff



Illinois Football Making an Addition to Defensive Staff
Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football Making an Addition to Defensive Staff

In January, Illinois football coach Bret Bielema dismissed defensive backs coach Antonio Fenelus and  Linebackers coach Andy Buh. The defensive back’s coach position was filled by David Gibbs. Formerly, Gibbs spent the past 3 seasons as co-defensive coordinator for Gus Malzahn at the University of Central Florida.  It was reported today by Matt Zenitz on “X” that there has now been an addition to the linebackers room. Zenitz reportsIllinois is expected to hire Archie McDaniel as a linebackers coach, a source tells @247sports. The former Texas A&M linebacker and team captain was Houston’s linebackers coach the last three seasons.” 

What to Know about Archie McDaniel

Archie McDaniel is the apparent hire for the Linebackers position on Aaron Henry’s defensive staff. Another quick hire turnaround for Illinois, after releasing Andy Buh in January. 40 year old McDaniel from Bay City, Texas was a star Linebacker at Texas A&M. It was there where he graduated in 2005 as a 3-year starter and captain for the Aggies. Additionally, Archie made the transition to coaching, where he has found success in his young career. He was hired in 2020 by the Cougars, where he took a big leap in his coaching career as an assistant. McDaniel has served as the Houston Cougars Linebackers coach for the past three seasons under Willie Fritz. Before his time in Houston, Archie has made stops at Texas Southern, New Mexico, SMU, and Texas State respectively.


Being from Texas, and having spent a large portion of his football career within the state, including the past 3 seasons, will be key in recruiting for Bielema. As much as Illinois will make their home state the priority of their recruiting, Texas will almost always be a factor.  Having a new, young recruiter, with such deep roots to the territory could bode extremely well for Illinois. Who, certainly have had some past success in the lone star state. Additionally, McDaniel serves as the president of the Minority Coaches Advancement Association. The organization help to train and prepare minority coaches for head coaching positions in college football. Certainly, the Illini are adding a leader to their defensive room. Undoubtedly, you can rarely fall too short when good character leaders are in place to lead your staff.





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Kirkland Chappell is your go-to source for Illinois athletics news with over 4 years of writing and radio experience. His work has been featured on IlliniGuys, Illini Now, Bleacher Report and YardBarker