Ron Turner brought in Tim Kish as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach three years ago, and the Orange and Blue defense has done nothing but steadily improve each season. Under Kish’s direction, the Illini had three All-Big Ten honorable mention selections in 1999, the most representation for the Illinois defense since 1995. The Illini were once again led by three-time All-Big Ten selection Danny Clark, who ranked first on the squad with 115 tackles, 11 of those tackles for a loss of 65 yards. Kish saw his pesky defense recover 13 fumbles, issue 30 sacks for 191 yards and intercept 14 passes for 154 yards. The Illini defense held four opponents to 20 points or less, including two UI victories over Big Ten foes Ohio State and Northwestern.
Kish, 45, served as outside linebackers coach at Northwestern from 1992-96, helping the Wildcats to two Big Ten Conference titles and consecutive bowl appearances in the Rose and Florida Citrus New Year’s Day games.
Prior to coming to Northwestern, Kish spent eight years at Army, coaching defensive ends and outside linebackers. Kish made three bowl trips with the Cadets, including a 31-29 victory over Illinois in the 1985 Peach Bowl. In addition to the Peach, Army played in the Cherry and Sun bowls during Kish’s tenure.
Kish was a three-year letterman as a defensive back and also lettered in basketball at Otterbein College, earning his B.S. in education in 1976. He spent two years at Mariemont High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, before earning his master’s degree in education from Bowling Green in 1979. At BGSU, Kish spent one season as a graduate assistant coach.
Following Bowling Green, Kish coached three seasons at Purdue under Jim Young, working with defensive backs for two years and quarterbacks for one season. With the Boilermakers, Kish was a part of teams that played in the Peach, Liberty and Astro-Bluebonnet bowls. He spent the next two seasons at Ball State as quarterbacks and defensive line coach. He reunited with Young at Army in 1984. In total, Kish has been a part of eight bowl games.
Kish and his wife, Angela, have three children, daughters Megan and Emily and a son, Michael.