The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 13, 2013

Danville native Colby new Illini d-line coach


CHAMPAIGN —  Former Danville standout and Schlarman football coach Greg Colby is coming home.

On Tuesday afternoon, Illinois football coach Tim Beckman announced the hiring of Colby as defensive line coach.

Before returning to his alma mater, Colby has spent the past five years at Millersville University, an NCAA Division II program 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 the Danville, was a great student-athlete at Illinois, was on the coaching staff here for eight years (1988-95) and has worked at several different successful programs since.

“He has build 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.’’

Colby, a 1970 graduate of Danville High, was the outside linebackers and special teams coach at Illinois in his previous stint. He helped the Fighting Illini win the Big Ten Championship in 1989 and six bowl appearances in seven years.

During his playing days at Illinois, Colby was a three-year starter for both the football and baseball teams, serving as the caption of the baseball team in 1974.

“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.”