Zook Adds Mitchell to Illini Coaching Staff

University of Illinois head football coach Ron Zook added his fifth assistant to the coaching staff when he hired Michigan State running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, Reggie Mitchell. The Flint, Mich., native brings 22 years of college coaching experience to Champaign.

"Reggie is a tremendous hire for our staff," Zook said. "I knew immediately he would be a good fit. We have very similar philosophies on both coaching and recruiting. He has been extremely successful in this league and has strong ties to the Midwest. Reggie will be an integral part of the recruiting strategy that becomes of the utmost importance in the upcoming month."

Much of Mitchell's experience has come on the offensive side of the ball as primarily a running backs and wide receivers coach. He spent six years at Michigan State, tutoring two NFL first-round draft picks in running back T.J. Duckett and receiver Plaxico Burress. The NFL's No. 2 pick in 2003 receiver Charles Rogers was also a prized recruit for Mitchell. In 2001, Duckett rushed for 1,420 yards, totaling 3,379 in his career, while Burress set the MSU single-season receiving record in 1999 with 66 catches, 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Mitchell, 43, went to MSU following 12 seasons with head coach Glen Mason at Minnesota, Kansas and Kent State. During his time with the Jayhawks, Kansas won 29 games during a four-year stretch, the school's best total in the 85 seasons. The 1995 KU team went 10-2 and finished ninth in the final AP poll after a 51-30 win over UCLA in the Aloha Bowl. During that time, Mitchell tutored KU's all-time leading rusher June Henley (3,841 yards).

Mitchell was a four-year starting running back at Central Michigan from 1978-81. He rushed for 2,394 yards in his career and helped lead the Chippewas to Mid-American Conference titles in both 1979 and 1980. He and his wife, Andrea, have two children, a son, Kaeman and a daughter, Karena.

While at Michigan State. 2000-04 Michigan State University (running backs/recruiting coordinator) 1999 Michigan State University (wide receivers)

Story courtesy of the University of Illinois

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