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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wolford bolts to Illinois

    Eric Wolford was announced as the new offensive line coach at Illinois yesterday, after presiding over an embattled unit at Arizona last season.

    “”He’s hired,”” said Cassie Arner, Illinois associate sports information director.

    Wolford is the sixth member of the UA staff to leave the team since November. He was the last offensive coach remaining from head coach Mike Stoops’ original staff in 2004.

    Wolford was on the road recruiting yesterday and was not available for comment, Arner said.

    Illinois head coach Ron Zook did not return phone calls yesterday.

    The Wildcats struggled to run the ball and buy time for their quarterbacks last season thanks to a young, inexperienced line.

    Sophomore quarterback Willie Tuitama suffered three concussions in part due to poor protection, and the team rushed for negative yardage in three straight contests to open Pacific 10 Conference play.

    The line improved over the final six games, however, as running backs twice amassed at least 200 yards.

    New assistant coach Bill Bedenbaugh will presumably be Wolford’s replacement. Bedenbaugh was hired from Texas Tech Jan. 19 and assigned to oversee the line.

    Along with new UA offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes, Bedenbaugh helped direct one of the nation’s most prolific attacks in points scored and yards gained.

    Dykes was out of town recruiting yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

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