Chicago Sun-Times
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Zook eyes Cincinnati assistant after Johnson says no

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Penn State  defensive line coach Larry Johnson has decided to turn down an offer to become Illinois' new defensive coordinator, sources said Thursday. A top recruiter as well as a respected position coach, Johnson will return for his 14th season at Penn State, where he is the key assistant on 11 of the Nittany Lions' 23 commitments for signing day, Feb. 4.
With Johnson out of the picture, a source said Illini coach Ron Zook will focus his attention on Cincinnati defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, who also is the Bearcats' assistant head coach. Gilmore, a 1981 graduate of Wayne State, moved from from Central Michigan to the Bearcats in 2007 with head coach Brian Kelly, who guided Cincinnati to the Big East title this season and a trip to the Orange Bowl. Cincinnati finished 31st in the nation in total defense (321.9 yards a game), 19th in run defense (115) and led the Big East in sacks (2.86).
It's not clear whether Gilmore would be defensive coordinator or focus on Illinois' defensive line, which under-achieved last fall.
In 2006, Gilmore's only season at Central Michigan, two defensive linemen earned all-league honors. In 2002-05, Gilmore was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Howard University. He also was the defensive line coach for the Bison, who led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in total defense in 2004 and 2005.
In 1998-2001, Gilmore was the special teams coordinator and coached the defensive line and running backs at Norfolk State. He began his coaching career at Wayne State in 1985. He also was an assistant at Michigan State (1988), Northern Michigan (1989-90), Grand Valley State (1991-93), Wayne State (1994), and Eastern Michigan (1995-97).

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This page contains a single entry by Herb Gould published on January 15, 2009 4:37 PM.

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