Paul Pilkington comes to the Illini after serving two seasons as an assistant track and field coach at Weber State University. At Weber State, he coached the male 5,000 and 10,000-meter runners, all female distance runners, and female hurdlers. In 2003 he coached ten regional qualifiers and 3 NCAA national qualifiers. In addition, he boasts 34 all- conference selections in his two seasons.
At Weber State, Pilkington led the Wildcats to the 2002 Big Sky conference title in men's and women's indoor and outdoor track. In 2003, the women's team repeated as indoor champions. Under his direction, Weber State's cross country team placed second in the Big Sky in 2001 and 2002.
From 1988 until now, Pilkington has served as a personal cross country coach in Roy, Utah where he coached five female U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers, three Foot Locker cross country national finalists and over twenty Utah high school champions, six state record holders and two high school All-Americans.
As a runner, Pilkington has had a very successful career. In 1994 he won the USA Track and Field marathon national championship as well as the Los Angeles marathon. In 1995 he was a member of the U.S. World Championships team, while in 1992 Pilkington was the USA Track and Field 20 kilometer national champion. He was also a four-time Olympic Trials qualifier, in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000.
A 1981 graduate of Weber State, Pilkington earned U.S. Track and Field Federation All-American status in the steeplechase. In 1987, he was recognized as a NJCAA All-American in the steeplechase while at the College of Southern Idaho. In 1992, he graduated from Utah State with a master's degree in instructional design.
He and his wife Darby have 3 children, Jake (22), Seth (20) and Erin, (17).