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Greg Colby returns to Illinois as DL coach

Greg Colby is the new defensive line coach at Illinois. (Photo: Millersville Athletics)

Greg Colby is the new defensive line coach at Illinois. (Photo: Millersville Athletics)

[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.”

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Illinois' stadium getting big video upgrade

Mock up of Illinois scoreboard and video board upgrades. (Courtesy: Illinois Athletics)

Mock up of Illinois scoreboard and video board upgrades. (Courtesy: Illinois Athletics)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]llinois is making a big move in the scoreboard war.

The Illini athletic department announced it is working with Daktronics on a big upgrade to the Memorial Stadium video display boards.

The new HD main display will measure 36 feet tall by 96 feet wide, making it one of the 20 largest in the country and the sixth largest video board in the B1G. (Chart below.) By comparison, the current video board is 22 feet by 39 feet.

According to the release, the new main display is part of a “full design-build aspect for the entire South end zone structure from the Memorial Stadium lettering to the columns framing the main video display.”

The south end zone addition will include a new scoreboard and 50-foot wide ribbon display below the main video board. An identical scoreboard (without video display or the ribbon board) will be installed above the north end zone seats.

In addition to the end zone setup, two LED ribbon displays will be installed on the fascia between the seating decks, one on each side of the field. These displays will span more than 70 yards down each sideline. There will also be 10×17 wall-mounted video displays will be installed in the southeast and southwest corners of the stadium.

The current display was installed in Memorial Stadium prior to the 2002 season. Disassembly of the display started on Jan. 28, and the new display is scheduled to be operational by early summer 2013.

B1G Video Display Boards
Area (sq ft) Dimensions
Michigan State 5,412 114.8 x 47.2
Ohio State 5,208 124 x 42
Minnesota 5,184 108 x 48
Michigan 3,991 84.8 x 47.1
Nebraska 3,951 117.6 x 33.6
Illinois 3,456 96 x 36
Indiana 3,276 91 x 36
Purdue 2,158 68.5 x 31.5
Iowa 1,441 67 x 21.5
Wisconsin 1,032 43 x 24
Northwestern 432 24 x 18

Note: Penn State is not listed.

(Source: Wikipedia.)


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Fun with Photoshop: Jim Bridge

jim_bridgeBy all accounts, Jim Bridge is one of the nicest guys in the coaching world.

Bridge, who coached under Tom O’Brien at Boston College and later at N.C. State, was announced Wednesday as Tim Beckman’s new offensive line coach at Illinois.

Even though he’s a heckuva nice guy, Bridge, like all of us in the coaching profession, has to raise his voice from time to time. Unfortunately for Bridge, a photographer happened to catch him “in the act.”

The picture became quite popular with the Wolfpack faithful over at the Backing the Pack Blog, and, naturally, the readers there dusted off their copies of Photoshop and created some first rate humor.

In honor of Bridge’s new gig, we’ve posted a few of our favorites below. You can see all of their creations in the aptly titled thread “Bridge Over the River Awesome.”

Selections from “Bridge Over the River Awesome”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”

Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Montee Ball

By Backing the Pack user “Akula Wolf”


By Backing the Pack user “non_sequitur”

Original threadBridge Over the River Awesome

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