Illini will open 123rd football season on Saturday at 11 am CT
Pre-Spring Football Notes
New Coaching Staff Meets with Media
Former Cincinnati Co-Coordinator Chosen to Lead Illini Defense
Clinkscale, Gonzales, Salem Added to Illini Coaching Staff
Alex Golesh begins his third year on the Illinois staff as the tight ends and running backs coach, and recruiting coordinator. He came to the Illini from Toledo along with head coach Tim Beckman and assistant coach Mike Ward.
Golesh guided a productive group of tight ends that combined for 52 catches, 545 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, including four touchdowns against Miami (Ohio), the most tight end TDs in a game in school history. He also helped punter Justin DuVernois to another solid season, as the junior posted a 41.1 yard-per-punt average with 10 over 50 yards and 13 downed inside the 20.
Golesh, who was named a top-10 recruiter in the Big Ten by Rivals.com in 2013, guided DuVernois to a strong sophomore campaign in 2012 as he ranked fourth in the Big Ten in punting with a 41.9 yard-per-punt average, with a long of 72 yards, 16 fair catches, 19 punts downed inside the 20 yard line and 15 punts of 50 or more yards.
Golesh was on Beckman's staff at Toledo for three years from 2009-2011, serving as both the tight ends coach and the recruiting coordinator. Golesh aided the UT program in securing the No. 1 recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference in consecutive years. The 2010 UT class was No. 1 according to Rivals.com, while both Rivals and Scout.com rated the 2011 class No. 1.
Golesh's tight ends served as key blockers in a Rocket rushing attack that ranked No. 3 in the MAC in both 2010 and 2011. In 2009, Golesh coached the running backs at Toledo, helping senior running back DaJuane Collins earn third-team All-MAC honors.
Prior to going to Toledo, Golesh spent three seasons as a graduate assistant, two at Northern Illinois (2006-07) and one at Oklahoma State. Golesh worked with the outside linebackers at Oklahoma State in 2008, helping the Cowboys to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Holiday Bowl. At NIU, Golesh worked for one season assisting with the secondary and one season with the offensive line, helping the Huskies make the 2006 Poinsettia Bowl.
Golesh got his start in the coaching business as a student assistant coach while attending Ohio State as an undergraduate. He spent two-and-a-half years aiding the Buckeyes' defensive coaches, with responsibilities that included working with the defensive line and helping to break down film. During his time at Ohio State, the Buckeyes claimed the 2005 Big Ten Championship and went on to earn a victory in the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame. OSU also posted a win in the 2004 Alamo Bowl over Oklahoma State.
Golesh also spent one year as a defensive line coach in a first-year football program at newly opened Westerville Central High School in 2002.
Golesh was born in Moscow, Russia, but grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Dublin, Ohio, where he was a three-year letterwinner in football at Dublin Scioto High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Ohio State in 2006. He and his wife, Alexis, had a daughter, Corbin, in May 2011, and welcomed a son, Barrett, in July 2014.
Updated July 2014