Abraham resigns from UI football staff

Abraham resigns from UI football staff

CHAMPAIGN — Assistant coach Donnie Abraham resigned from the Illinois football staff Tuesday night. Illini coach Lovie Smith said the now former defensive backs coach has left the team "for personal reasons."

“Donnie informed me that he felt it was in his best interest to leave our staff,” Smith said in a release. “I fully support his decision and wish him the best moving forward. Our current coaching staff will absorb his responsibilities.”

Abraham joined Smith's coaching staff in the spring of 2017 and coached the Illinois safeties last season. Bennett Williams earned ESPN.com Freshman All-American honors in 2017 after finishing fifth on the team with 64 tackles at safety and leading the Illini defense with three interceptions.

“I want to thank the University of Illinois, Josh Whitman, the athletic department and Coach Smith for opening the door and giving me an opportunity to coach in the Big Ten,” Abraham said in the same release. “I will greatly miss the players, coaches and staff that I have had the privilege of working with this past year and a half. I know great things are on the horizon for this University and football team.

"This time away will allow me the opportunity to return to Florida and be a part of my son’s senior year in high school. Again, I wish the University of Illinois and this football program nothing but the best.”