Smith adds 2 to Illinois staff, including Hardy Nickerson

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Lovie Smith has hired former NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson as defensive coordinator.

Smith also said Monday that Indianapolis Colts assistant Andrew Hayes-Stoker has been named wide receivers coach.

Nickerson played in five Pro Bowls during a 16-year NFL career. He had been hired to coach the San Francisco 49ers linebackers this season.

Nickerson and Hayes-Stoker both worked on Smith's staffs in Chicago and Tampa Bay. All of the staff members named by Smith since he was hired last week worked for him during his NFL coaching career, including offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, offensive line coach Luke Butkus and defensive line coach Mike Phair.

Smith still has four remaining openings.


This story corrects spelling of Nickerson's first name.