Ricker joining Illinois staff
Former Western Michigan offensive line coach A.J. Ricker is taking the same position at Illinois, a source close to the program said.
Ricker, who replaced Jim Bridge, is expected to work during this afternoon's spring practice.
While he needs to get to know the players, Ricker will have plenty of familiarity with his direct boss, offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. Ricker worked on Cubit's staff at Western Michigan, serving as offensive line coach and run-game coordinator.
The Texas native is the former head coach at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.
Ricker was a standout offensive lineman at Missouri, setting a school record with 47 consecutive starts. He was an All-Big 12 center as a senior and a second-team choice his junior year.
Ricker signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Bears and spent time in NFL Europe and in the Arena Football League.