Lovie Smith has a coaching hire to make this offseason.
Coming off Illinois’ first bowl appearance in five seasons, Illinois defense line coach Austin Clark was snatched away and hired by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday morning, according to a report.
The #Dolphins are hiring an assistant from the college ranks: Illinois DL coach Austin Clark is joining Miami and will coach the outside linebackers, source said. Just 30 years old, Clark is considered a rising talent in the coaching world.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2020
Clark will be the Dolphins’ outside linebackers coach under second-year head coach Brian Flores.
The 30-year-old spent two seasons in Champaign after being hired away from USC in February 2018. That was after two years in SoCal helping with their defensive line and outside linebackers.
Clark is considered a young rising talent in the coaching world and generated talent on the Illini’s defensive line with Bobby Roundtree in 2018 and USC transfer Oluwole Betiku in 2019.
While at USC, Clark coach three NFL Draft picks (Uchenna Nwosu, Rasheem Green, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu).
Former Illini and NFL wideout Arrelious Benn tweeted at TCR that Clark, like others, is a case of “coaches putting themselves first.”
This is why we can’t build our program. It’s not about the academics/development of the players. Coaches put themselves first.— Arrelious Benn (@ArreliousBenn) January 9, 2020
Florida native Mike Epstein said he’ll miss Clark.