An update: It's confirmed that defensive line coach Tom Sims has been let go. I'm also hearing that Illinois may bring in a high-profile defensive coordinator, too, although that is not a certainty yet.
Ron Zook may be opening a new recruiting pipeline to a football-rich state.
TCU offensive coordinator Mike Schultz , who led the Horned Frogs to single-season school records for points scored (420) and touchdowns (54) this season, will be Illinois' new offensive coordinator, sources said Friday.
Schultz will be introduced as the replacement for Mike Locksley, who was hired as head coach at New Mexico, at a press conference early next week, the sources said.
In an unrelated move, defensive line coach Tom Sims reportedly was dismissed after a disappointing season for a unit that had been expected to be a team strength.
Schultz, who turns 51 today, spent 11 seasons at TCU, which finished 11-2 this season, losing only to Oklahoma and Utah before beating previously unbeaten Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Before becoming the Horned Frogs' offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2007, Schultz was TCU's running backs coach for nine years. His prized pupil was San Diego Chargers standout LaDainian Tomlinson, who set a TCU record with 2,158 yards in 2000 and was the NFL's MVP in 2006.
A Houston native, Schultz played at Sam Houston State. His coaching stops include his alma mater, UTEP, Kansas State, Texas and New Mexico.
When talking about the Dec. 9 departure of Locksley, who had brought in a number of top recruits from his hometown of Washington, D.C., Zook had hinted at where he was headed. While not conceding that Illinois would stop landing D.C. recruits, he said that if, for example, he hired a coach with Texas roots, Locksley's successor might wind up opening a whole new area to Illinois recruiting.
It appears that Schultz will bring connections to fertile recruiting turf as well as a history of success as an offensive coach.