[dropcap]G[/dropcap]reg Colby is returning to Illinois.
Colby, who spent the past five seasons as head coach of Division II Millersville (Pa.), will be defensive line coach on Tim Beckman’s staff. He replaces Keith Gilmore, who left on Feb. 5 to become defensive line coach at North Carolina.
Colby posted an 11-44 record at Millersville.
A former football and baseball player at Illinois, Colby was an Illini assistant coach from 1988-95 coaching outside linebackers and special teams. Colby was part of a Big Ten Championship season in 1989 and six bowl appearances in seven years.
Colby 34 years coaching experience, including 27 years as a collegiate coach and 10 years as a D-I defensive coordinator. He has recruited in most of the country during his time as a coach with an emphasis on the Midwest, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Canada.
Prior to Millersville, Colby spent six years as defensive coordinator at Northwestern University (2002-07). It was one of the most successful periods in Northwestern football history, with three consecutive six-win seasons for the first time in 70 years and a pair of bowl appearances. He was defensive coordinator at Kent State from 1998-2001.
From 1995-97, Colby coached defensive line, outside linebackers and was co-special teams coordinator on Nick Saban’s Michigan State staff. The Spartans appeared in three straight bowl games.
Millersville has named defensive coordinator Ron Rankin, a 14-year Marauder assistant, has been named interim coach.
“The University stands firmly behind our football program, and we will work quickly to conduct a national search for a new head coach,” said Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Aminta Hawkins-Breaux. “While we’re sad to see Coach Colby go, we know our student athletes will be in good hands with Coach Rankin.”