Vince Okruch enters his second season on the University of Illinois staff, serving as the defensive coordinator, a position he has now held at four different institutions. He brought 30 years of collegiate coaching experience to the job.
In his first season at Illinois, the defense made the jump to the upper half of the Big Ten ranking fifth in rushing, pass effeciency and total defense.
Okruch came to Illinois after one season at Louisiana-Monroe and one year at Western Illinois. Prior to those two short stints, he spent five seasons as the defensive coordinator at University of Colorado. During his time at Colorado, the Buffs' defense posted 18 performances holding opponents to under 100 yards rushing and 12 times limiting their foes to below 300 yards total offense. In 2001, CU finished the season 10-3, ranking ninth in the nation and qualifying for the BCS in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big XII champions.
Before heading to Colorado, Okruch was part of Gary Barnett's staff at Northwestern, which won two Big Ten titles and made a trip to the 1996 Rose Bowl. He served as defensive line coach for five years and two seasons as the defensive coordinator.
Okruch has spent over 20 years coaching in BCS conferences, and this marks his third stint in the Big Ten. From 1985-91, he was a member of the University of Minnesota staff that went to two bowl games in 1985 and 1986.
A 1977 graduate of Culver-Stockton College, Okruch earned four letters as both a quarterback and tight end, while also playing baseball. After completing his bachelor's degree in physcical education, he went on to earn his master's degree at Northeast Missouri State in 1980.
He began his coaching career upon graduation in 1977 as the defensive backs coach at Culver-Stockton, and after completing his master's degree, returned to his alma mater to serve as the head coach from 1980-82.
The Buffalo, N.Y., native and his wife, Janet, have two children; a daughter, Taylor, and a son, Jordan.