Former LB Matt Sinclair Joins Illini Football Staff

Sinclair starred for the Illini from 2001-04.
Sinclair starred for the Illini from 2001-04.

April 15, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced Monday the addition of former Fighting Illini linebacker Matt Sinclair (2001-04) to his staff as assistant director of player personnel and relations. Sinclair returns to his alma mater after spending the last four years as co-defensive coordinator, linebackers, and special teams coach at Wheaton Warrenville South High School in Wheaton, Ill. Sinclair's position was previously held by Mike Bellamy, who was promoted to wide receivers coach earlier this spring.

In his new position, Sinclair will coordinate all former player events, assist with on-campus recruiting and recruiting mailings, help coordinate the annual Illinois high school coaching clinic and coordinate all functions with Block I, fraternities and sororities.

"Matt Sinclair is an outstanding addition to our football staff and Fighting Illini family," Beckman said. "Matt had an outstanding career here and professionally, and has terrific relationships to many of the former Fighting Illini players. Matt's primary responsibilities will be to connect our current team with our former players, while also working with our recruiting connections on campus. Connecting the rich history of the Fighting Illini program to the current team and the future Fighting Illini is imperative as we continue to move forward."

A native of St. Louis, Sinclair was a contributor to the 2001 Big Ten Championship and Sugar Bowl team as a true freshmen before becoming a starter for the Fighting Illini in his final three seasons. He led the team and ranked third in the Big Ten with 129 tackles in 2003, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. As a senior captain in 2004, he again led the Illini in tackles with 87, including eight TFLs and four sacks. For his career, Sinclair racked up 278 tackles, 18 TFLs, 10 sacks and nine QB hurries. He earned a B.A. in communications from the University of Illinois in 2005.

After college, Sinclair spent five years playing professionally in the NFL and NFL Europe, including stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, as well as the Frankfurt Galaxy. He has spent the last four years at Wheaton Warrenville South H.S., where he helped lead the Tigers to two IHSA Class 7A state titles (2009 and 2010) and a runner-up finish (2011), and helped produce five Division I players, including current Illini quarterback Reilly O'Toole.