Lovie Smith is making a change to his recruiting staff -- just a week after signing the No. 34 recruiting class in the country,
Multiple sources told Illini Inquirer that Illinois has parted ways with director of player personnel Josh Sternquist.
Sternquist, a Belviderere (Ill.) native who spent the previous four years as New Mexico's director of football recruiting, joined Lovie Smith's staff in April to head the Illinois recruiting operation.
Just last week, Sternquist talked about the future of recruiting for Illinois football, so the move comes as a bit of a surprise
"We have a full recruiting timeline to recruit this class of 2018," Sternquist said last Wednesday on the "Tay and J Show" on ESPN Radio 93.5. "There's plenty of time. We're not coming in four months late. That's an exciting thing that we'll get going right now."
The rest of the recruiting staff currently remains in place. Smith is expected to be available to reporters on Friday to preview spring practice.
Smith also must fill a hole on his coaching staff. Linebackers coach Tim McGarigle left the Illini to join the Green Bay Packers staff as a defensive quality control position.
While only the 10 coaches can recruit off campus, Sternquist led the organization of all Illinois football recruiting efforts, including recruiting scheduling and working with the compliance office and admissions office. Previously at Illinois, these duties have been left to an assistant. But a burgeoning budget from athletic director Josh Whitman allowed Smith to expand the Illinois staff and recruiting department.
Sternquist has previous Big Ten experience, serving as the assistant recruiting coordinator at Minnesota from 2008-12 and as football and recruiting operations assistant at Wisconsin from 2004-08. He played football at Wisconsin-Whitewater and graduated in 2004.