Billy Gonzales, who coached at Illinois, LSU, Florida, and Utah, will be Wisconsin’s new wide receivers coach. (Photo: LSU Athletics)
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Illinois co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales will join Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State.
Gonzales, who is known as an excellent recruiter, spent last season on Tim Beckman’s staff at Illinois as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. Gonzales worked with Mullen on Urban Meyer’s staffs at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.
It was announced last week that Gonzales would not return to Illinois. He was also thought to be a target of Doc Holliday at Marshall and was mentioned as a possible receivers coach on Gary Andersen’s staff at Wisconsin.
An official announcement concerning the hire is expected to be made later today or Wednesday.
Mullen will have to make room for Gonzales as the Bulldogs currently have nine on the field assistants. The most likely scenario is a current assistant moving to an administrative role.
According to Brandon Marcello of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Gonzales was on the MSU campus today. At Illinois, he shared offensive coordinator duties with Chris Beatty in 2012, but Beatty was fired after the Illini averaged only 16.7 points per game.
Gonzales coached at LSU in 2010-11 as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. Prior to LSU, Gonzales coached under Urban Meyer at three different schools – Bowling Green, Utah and Florida .
He coached for two years at Bowling Green under Meyer and alongside Beckman before moving on with Meyer to Utah for the 2003-04 seasons. Gonzales was part of national championship teams at Florida in 2006 and 2008.
Gonzales will be the third new member of the Bulldogs’ staff since the end of the 2012 season. Mullen hired former NFL assistant Deshea Townsend as the team’s cornerbacks coach in January after Melvin Smith left for a similar position at Auburn. Geoff Collins was promoted to defensive coordinator and David Turner joined the staff when Chris Wilson left State to coach Georgia’s defensive line in January.
At Illinois, Gonzales shared the offensive coordinator title with Chris Beatty, who was let go after the season. Illinois averaged only 16.7 points per game last season, last in the Big Ten during a 2-10 year.
Beckman hired former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit as his offensive coordinator last month.
There is one open spot on the Illinois staff, as Beckman hired ex-Millersville (Pa.) head coach Greg Colby to the defensive line. Colby replaced Keith Gilmore, who left for North Carolina.