Dino Dawson enters his second season as the wide receivers coach at Illinois, marking his 14th year of coaching collegiate football. Prior to his arrival at Illinois, Dawson was the secondary coach at Tuskegee University, which went 10-2 in 2004, while making a trip to the Pioneer Bowl.
In 2002-03, Dawson served as defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati, where the defense ranked in the top-25 each season. The Bearcats won the Conference USA title and went to the New Orleans Bowl in 2002. Prior to his time at UC, Dawson coached the wide receivers at Toledo, where the offense ranked 13th nationally and won the MAC championship with an 11-2 record, and a Motor City Bowl victory over Cincinnati in 2001.
Dawson also worked for seven years at Bowling Green, performing a wide variety of coaching duties, including offensive coordinator, quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. He also worked for a single season at both Illinois State and Wayne State. In addition to his coaching experience, Dawson participated in the NFL's Minority Internship Program in 1998, under Detroit Lions head coach Bobby Ross.
In 1991, Dawson received his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University. Before transferring to finish his degree, Dawson was a wide receiver and kick returner at the Ohio State University (1984-87), lettering as a freshman on the 1985 Rose Bowl team. He later transferred to Kent State (1988-89) where he led the team in receptions.