Just before the first session of spring practice we found out that offensive line coach Jim Bridge had left to take the same job at Purdue. Now, just before the second session of spring practice, we find out that Tim Beckman has found Bridge's replacement.
Yesterday I wrote about Beckman planning to talk to Middle Tennessee State's A.J. Ricker about the open position and mentioned that the odds were that if Illinois offered him the job, Ricker would take it.
Well, it seems he took it.
At Illinois, sources confirm to us that AJ Ricker will be the new offensive line coach. Was Cubit's OL coach at WMU (had gone to MTSU)— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) March 7, 2013
Much like Bridge, Ricker did not spend a whole lot of time working with Middle Tennessee State. That's because he was recently hired there after spending the last two seasons as the offensive line coach at Western Michigan.
Where he just happened to be working for Bill Cubit, who is now our offensive coordinator. So the good news here is not only that the Illini filled the position quickly, but that they did it with somebody who is already familiar with what Bill Cubit wants to do with the offense.