Feb. 20 Bob Asmussen chat

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 10:00am

When will Lovie Smith fill his final coaching vacancy? How is the staff doing with the 2019 recruiting class? What returning player will make the biggest jump during the upcoming season?

For the answers to these questions, or anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime Illinois football beat writer.

Smith wipes slate clean with Illini

CHAMPAIGN — The guy put in charge of the Illinois offense made some new friends Monday night.

Rod Smith, hired by Lovie Smith on Jan. 19, was the guest on "The News-Gazette Sports Page" at the Esquire Lounge in downtown Champaign.

Colton Rahn and Illini, '2nd to none!'

It started out as a simple request on Twitter, from a dad hoping to comfort his son before surgery.

It ended up being the feel-good story of the week, complete with a fairy-tale ending — and a lesson in perseverance by a pretty tough 9-year-old.

'I don't look at any of the mock drafts'

The process of actually realizing that I could potentially play in the NFL didn't happen until after I arrived at Illinois.I went up against a lot of good players throughout my five years at Illinois. With that, I was able to see a good amount of those guys get drafted or even just sign as a free agent.

Smith: Clark 'blew us away'

CHAMPAIGN — Austin Clark might be new to the Illinois football program. But he is familiar to the Illini's defensive coordinator.

Clark was hired Friday as the new defensive line coach. He replaces Mike Phair, who recently left for a job with the Indianapolis Colts.

Feb. 12 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, February 12, 2018 - 10:00am

What do you think about the new Illinois defensive line coach? How well did Lovie Smith finish his 2018 recruiting class? Does the team need to add a veteran quarterback?

For the answer to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime Illinois football beat writer.

Lovie hires new defensive line coach

Illinois lost respected defensive line coach Mike Phair last month after Phair accepted the same role with the Indianapolis Colts.

Lovie Smith announced Phair's replacement on Friday, naming 27-year-old Austin Clark to the position.

Ex-Illini football captain leads way again with $5M gift for performance center

CHAMPAIGN — When he played on the offensive line for Bob Blackman's Illinois teams in the mid-1970s, Stu Levenick didn't have access to state-of-the-art training.

UI roundup: Illini hire DL coach

CHAMPAIGN — Former Southern California graduate assistant coach Austin Clark is the pick to be the new Illinois defensive line coach, according to

Clark will replace Mike Phair, who left for a job with the Indianapolis Colts.

Clark, a former California defensive tackle, worked as a recruiting assistant with the Bears in 2015.