IlliniGuy Mike Cagley talks with IlliniGuys Football Beat Writer Matt Stevens after Illinois announced a new three-year contract extension for Ryan Walters before the end of his first season as the Illini’s defensive coordinator that calls for him to be a seven-figure coordinator through the 2024 season.
Under his leadership, Walters’s defense at Illinois has made a 13.3 points per game improvement from last season, the second-best improvement in the nation, while allowing 77.4 fewer yards per game. The Illini rank 35th nationally in opposing points per game, 44th in takeaways, and 42nd in third-down defense. Illinois' scoring defense, total defense, and third-down defense have all improved more than 40 spots in the national rankings.
This is a big day for Illini fans as AD Josh Whitman and football head coach Bret Bielema have teamed up to proactively reward their defensive coordinator for his unit drastically exceeding expectations.
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