Zook Hires Three From Florida Staff

Head football coach Ron Zook announced his first three hires to the Illinois coaching staff, landing former University of Florida assistants Larry Fedora, Joe Wickline and Dan Disch.

This story is courtesy the University of Illinois
"Larry (Fedora), Joe (Wickline) and Dan (Disch) are very excited about the opportunity to come to Illinois," Zook said. "They are all great people and even better family men who will join me in taking this program to the next level. They look forward, like I do, to working with an incredibly supportive administration on the challenges that lie ahead. Having these three join me at Illinois will enable us to continue the system we believe in at the highest level. This affords us the continuity that you must have to build not just a team, but a lasting program."

Fedora, 42, served as Gator offensive coordinator and receivers coach as he completed his 15th year of collegiate coaching last season. Under Fedora's guidance the 2004 Florida squad led the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense, passing offense and ranked second in total offense. The squad put up 33.8 points per contest, 428 yards of total offense, including 271.9 passing yards per game. Gator players led the SEC in rushing (Ciatrick Fason), passing (Chris Leak), total offense (Leak) and receptions (O.J. Small). In his career, 17 Fedora-coached athletes have earned all-conference honors and 11 have signed NFL contracts. As offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, his squads consistently ranked in the Top-16 in NCAA in total offense, including the 2001 season where they ranked fifth. In three years (1999-2001), Fedora helped to set 43 new offensive records and one NCAA record. Middle Tennessee receiver Tyrone Calico became the highest-drafted player in school history with his second-round selection by the Tennessee Titans.

The College Station, Texas native earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education from Austin College in 1985 and received his master's in 1986. Fedora played wide receiver at Austin College, leading his team to the NAIA Championship in 1981. He and his wife Christi have one son, Dillon, and three daughters, Sydney, Peyton and Hallie.

Wickline, 46, brings 22 years of college coaching experience to Illinois. He spent the last three seasons at Florida coaching the offensive line with special emphasis as the run game coordinator. The 2004 Gator offensive line blocked for the SEC's leading rusher, passer and receiver, while posting the league's best scoring and passing numbers and second-best total offense. The team of Wickline and Fedora joined forces for the first time at Middle Tennessee in 1999. Wickline handled offensive line, run game and recruiting coordinator responsibilities while with the Blue Raiders. In his career, Wickline has coached 14 all-league offensive linemen, including 2004 All-SEC recipients Mo Mitchell and Mike Degory. He has tutored five Florida All-Americans and his lines have produced four 1,000-yard rushers in the last six seasons.

Wickline is a 1983 graduate of the University of Florida where he was a three-year letterwinner and played in the 1980 Tangerine Bowl. He is married to the former Nicki Sturdivant and the couple has three children, Lacey, Kelby and Lauren.

In just one season at Florida, Disch led a Gator secondary with four new starters. The lineup totaled the league's second-most interceptions with 16 and two defensive backs ranked in the SEC Top-10 for picks and passes defended. Prior to joining the UF staff in 2004, Disch, 45, spent 16 years as the head coach at Jacksonville's (FL) Ed White High School. He led his teams to 11 playoff appearances, and won seven district championships, including six Gateway Conference Championships. Ed White HS finished in the Florida Top-10 following eight seasons under Disch.

Disch is a 1981 graduate of Florida State, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in social studies. He is married to the former Janet Johnson and the have three daughters, Chandler, Erica and Virginia.

Both Fedora and Wickline were on Zook's staff for his entire three years at Florida, while Disch joined Zook for the 2004 season.

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