Jim Pry completed his third season on the Illinois staff
serving as inside receiviers coach. Pry has 35 years of
collegiate coaching experience, including over 18 seasons
as an offensive coordinator.
Last season, inside receiver Arrelious Benn accounted for
one-third of the team's total receiving yardage, becoming
the first Illini to post 1,000 yards since 2002. Benn led the
Big Ten in receiving yardage and earned first-team All-Big
Ten honors. In addition to Benn, tight end Michael
Hoomanawanui was third on the team with 25 catches and
In 2007, Pry coached true-freshman Benn to Big Ten
Freshman of the Year honors. In his first year in college,
Benn was the team's leading receiver with 54 catches for
676 yards. Both marks were good enough to break the
school's freshman receiving records, as well as earn him
Freshman All-America accolades.
In his two seasons at Akron, Pry tutored many successful
offensive skill players. In 2005, Pry led junior quarterback
Luke Getsy to 3,000 passing yards, which ranked third on
the Akron single-season passing yards list. Running back
Brett Biggs earned his second consecutive second-team All-
MAC honor, rushing for 1,230 yards and 10 touchdowns. WR
Domenik Hixon posted 1,210 receiving yards, making the
Zips the 31st team in NCAA Division I-A history to possess a
3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard
In his first year on the Zips' staff in 2004, Pry served as mentor
to record-setting QB and MAC Player of the Year Charlie Frye,
who was the Cleveland Brown's starting quarterback in 2006.
Frye's 2,623 yards through the air in 2004 ranked fourth on the
Akron single-season passing yardage list. The Heisman Trophy
candidate finished his career No. 11 on the NCAA career total
offense chart (11,478) and No. 16 on the NCAA career passing
yards list (11,049).
Pry went to Akron after three seasons at Duke, where he
served as the quarterbacks coach for two years (2000-01)
before being elevated to offensive coordinator prior to the
2002 campaign. In 2003, running back Chris Douglas was
named first team All-ACC and became just the fourth player
in Duke football history to rush for 1,000+ yards in a
Before his stretch at Duke, Pry spent 11 seasons (1990-00)
as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at
East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University. A native of Altoona, Pa.,
Pry and his offense helped lead the Warriors to the 1991
Division II playoffs. His offense also ranked No. 1 nationally
in total offense (509 yards per game) and passing offense
(404 ypg) in 1996, and broke or reset 54 school, conference
and NCAA records. Under his guidance, the Warriors
averaged 25 or more points per game in all but one of his
Pry spent the 1989 season as the offensive coordinator at the
University at Buffalo after four seasons (1985-88) as the
offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks and receivers coach at
VMI. In 1985 his offense set 13 school and one NCAA record.
During the 1981 season he served as offensive
coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach at West
Liberty State before moving to assistant head
coach/defensive coordinator for the 1982-84 seasons. Pry
also served as offensive and defensive coordinator at
West Virginia Tech (1975-76) after spending the 1973-74
seasons as a graduate assistant at his alma mater,
Marshall. Pry moved on to become head coach at Lewis
County High School from 1977-80.
Pry is a 1974 graduate of Marshall with a degree in
physical education, and went on to earn a master's
degree in physical education from the school in 1975.
He and his wife, Kathy, have three adult sons, Brent
(assistant coach at Memphis), Nathan and Jon.