Colorado State-Pueblo's Hecklinski expected to join Illinois coaching staff

Wednesday December 16th, 2015

Colorado State-Pueblo passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Hecklinski is expected to be Illinois's new tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, according to a source.

It would be a return to Illinois for Hecklinski, who was a quarterback for the Fighting Illini from 1993–94 before transferring to Western Illinois in ’95. This season was Hecklinski's first at Colorado State-Pueblo after spending the previous four seasons as Michigan's wide receivers coach.

The 41-year-old Hecklinski was San Diego State's assistant head coach and running backs coach from 2009–10 and before that was Ball State's wide receivers coach for five seasons. He spent ’03 as Arizona's quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator after two seasons as Central Missouri State's offensive coordinator.

He was also offensive coordinator at Fort Scott Community College from 1999 through 2000. Hecklinski got his start in coaching as quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Benedictine University in ’98.

A Palatine, Ill., native, Hecklinski finished his playing days at Western Illinois in 1997. He joins Illinois coach Bill Cubit, who led the Fighting Illini to a better than expected 5–7 record this season in an interim capacity after being promoted from offensive coordinator in late August.

Cubit's interim tag was removed last month. He arrived in Champaign in 2013 as offensive coordinator. Before that, he was head coach for eight seasons at Western Michigan, where he had a 51–47 record with three bowl appearances, one more than the school had ever had.

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