Illinois fires special teams, defensive line coaches

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois has fired special teams coach Tim Salem and defensive line coach Greg Colby.

Coach Tim Beckman said Thursday that both are ''very good coaches'' but changes needed to be made for the team to improve.

Special teams was a particular problem for the Illini (6-7, 3-6 Big Ten). While Illini punter Justin Duvernois was the Big Ten's second-best punter, kickers David Reisner and Taylor Zalewski both struggled. Between them they were 9-17 on field goals and missed four extra points.

Salem joined the staff in 2012 as running backs coach. Colby worked two seasons at Illinois. The team's defense was one of the conference's worst both seasons.

Beckman says he will hire replacements as soon as possible.

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