Former Illini Player and Coach Greg Colby Joins Football Staff

Greg Colby
Greg Colby

Feb. 12, 2013

Illinois football coach Tim Beckman announced today the hiring of Greg Colby as defensive line coach following a five-year stint as head coach at Millersville University, an NCAA Division II institution located in Millersville, Pa.

"Greg Colby brings a wealth of coaching experience and Fighting Illini historical football knowledge to our staff," Beckman said. "Greg grew up in Danville, was a great student-athlete at Illinois, was on the coaching staff here for eight years, and has worked at several different successful programs since. He has built some outstanding relationships with his extensive recruiting experience in the Chicagoland area. Greg understands what it means to be a Fighting Illini football player and what it takes to be successful here. I have no doubt our players will respond very positively to him as a coach and as a person."

From 1988-95, Colby was assistant coach for outside linebackers and special teams at Illinois, helping the Fighting Illini to a Big Ten Championship in 1989 and six bowl appearances in seven years.

As a student-athlete at Illinois, Colby was a three-year starter for both the Fighting Illini football and baseball teams, serving as captain of the baseball squad as a senior in 1974. He is a native of Danville, Ill., and graduated from Danville High School in 1970, where he was an all-state team captain for the football and baseball teams during his senior year.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to come back," Colby said. "When I left and went to Michigan State in 1995, it was the intention to improve my coaching skills and come back here at some point in time, possibly finish my career here, and it has worked out. I'm going to do everything I can to help Coach Beckman take this program back to where it belongs, and in the short time I've been back on campus, I'm very confident that's going to happen."

Other stops during his collegiate career include Michigan State from 1995-97 under Nick Saban, where he served as defensive line, outside linebackers and co-special teams coordinator and helped the Spartans to three bowl appearances. Colby was defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and defensive line coach at Kent State from 1998-2001 under current Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator Dean Pees. From 2002-07, Colby served as Northwestern's defensive coordinator under Randy Walker and Pat Fitzgerald, helping the Wildcats to two bowl games.

Colby's Coaching Career

 Years School Position
 2013- University of Illinois Defensive Line
 2008-12 Millersville University Head Coach
 2002-07 Northwestern University Defensive Coordinator
 1998-2001 Kent State University Defensive Coordinator (DL, LB)
 1995-97 Michigan State University Assistant Coach (DL, ILB, ST)
 1988-95 University of Illinois Assistant Coach (OLB, DE, ST)
 1986-88 Michigan State University Graduate Assistant Coach (DL)
 1982-86 Naperville (Ill.) High School Head Coach
 1979-82 Danville Schlarman (Ill.) High School Head Coach
 1978-80 University of Illinois Assistant Baseball Coach
 1977-78 University of Illinois Graduate Assistant Football Coach
 1975-77 Marshall (Ill.) High School Defensive Coordinator
 1975 University of Illinois Assistant Baseball Coach
 1974-75 University of Illinois Graduate Assistant Football Coach