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Illinois adds Reilly O'Toole to coaching staff as graduate assistant

Former Illini quarterback to work with offensive coordinator Bill Cubit and assistant Mike Bellamy.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Reilly O'Toole was arguably the hero of the 2014 season. After starter Wes Lunt was lost to a leg injury, O'Toole took over at the starting quarterback position and led the team on a furious rally to reach the postseason with two straight victories over Penn State and Northwestern to become bowl eligible for the first time under head coach Tim Beckman.

Now, O'Toole will be back on the Illinois sideline, but not in his familiar position under center. This upcoming season, he will be working as a graduate assistant on Beckman's staff.

Beckman announced Wednesday that O'Toole would work with offensive coordinator Bill Cubit and assistant Mike Bellamy. Below is an excerpt from the full statement from the head coach:

"I called three former football players who have been involved in this football program because I thought they would be great fits for our offense. Reilly said yes. I can't tell you how great that feels. That young man means so much to this program. He knows the offense. He will fit right in right now. I told him I thought he would be great in this business. He will be a great asset to our profession."

O'Toole saw action at quarterback during parts of four seasons with the Illini. Although, he served most of that time as the primary backup for Nathan Scheelhaase, who will also return to Champaign as the assistant director of football operations.

O'Toole completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 2,319 yards and 18 touchdowns during four seasons with the Illini.