Woodford Hired As Visiting Football Coach

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois head football coach Ron Zook announced today the hiring of Mike Woodford, former Florida assistant, to serve as a visiting coach for the 2007 season.

Mike is a perfect fit for Illinois, Zook said. Having Mike join us this season allows us to have consistency in our plans for the year. He was with me at both Florida and with the New Orleans Saints, so he knows the defense very well. We are lucky that we have found someone who can come in here immediately and already knows how we do things. He will keep things running smoothly.

Mike was as bright and young of a defensive coach as I have been around, said Jim Haslett, former New Orleans Saints head coach and current St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator. He had a great deal to do with our success there (New Orleans). I knew then that he was going to be a terrific coach for many years.

Woodford and Zook's relationship dates back to 1983 when the two were on the Kansas University staff. Woodford also served with Zook as a defensive assistant at the New Orleans Saints and as defensive back and special teams coordinator at the University of Florida.

Woodford has spent 12 seasons in college football, working primarily on the defensive side of the ball. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Arizona, where he also began is coaching career as a graduate assistant.

The Illini begin practice for the 2007 season when the squad heads into preseason training camp on Friday, Aug. 3.

Information provided by the U of I SID office

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