UPDATED: Illinois and Georgia battling over defensive coordinator Koenning
Georgia and Illinois were negotiating with Kansas State co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning late Thursday, leaving a press conference called by Illinois in limbo.
Koenning had been expected to be announced as the Illinois defensive coordinator at 1 p.m. Friday in Memorial Stadium, but there's some uncertainty and two schools involved with Koenning, a source close to the team said Thursday night. Georgia made another run at Koenning after getting rebuffed by other candidates, including Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, a native of Nokomis.
Illinois has only the defensive coordinator position open after coach Ron Zook fired four assistants last Friday after a 3-9 season. Earlier this week, Illinois added offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm and tight ends coach Greg Nord.
The Illini plan to hire a lone coordinator on defense following the demotion of co-coordinators Dan Disch and Curt Mallory to position coaches. At Kansas State, Koenning and Chris Cosh led a defense that ranked 40th nationally and 16th in rushing defense. The previous season, Kansas State ranked 117th in total defense.
Before overhauling Kansas State, Koenning led Clemson to top 25 rankings nationally scoring, total and pass efficiency defense in each of his four years there from 2005 to 2008.
NOTE: Illinois senior guard Jon Asamoah was named second-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten by the Sporting News. Cornerback Terry Hawthorne and safety Walt Aikens earned freshman all-Big Ten honors from the magazine.
John Supinie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.