Illinois named former Illini wideout George McDonald its new assistant head coach and wise receivers coach on Wednesday night.
McDonald spent the past six seasons at North Carolina State and has experience in three Power Five conferences, as well as the NFL.
“It was almost 20 years ago when I met George McDonald on the recruiting trails in South Florida,” head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “George has established himself as a premier football coach, but more importantly, as a leader of young men. To bring him back as the assistant head coach at the University of Illinois, to work our wide receivers, and to help us build this program into what he knows it can be as a former student-athlete, while bringing his family into the Champaign-Urbana community, is a true pleasure.”
McDonald’s coaching career started at Ball State and Northern Illinois in the early 2000s before following former Illinois head coach Bill Cubit at Stanford and Western Michigan. He worked on the Cleveland Browns coaching staff in 2009-10 before making jumps to Miami and Syracuse.
McDonald played four years for the Illini in the mid-1990s and had 57 catches for 589 yards and four touchdowns.
“I’m super excited to come back to the University of Illinois,” McDonald said in a statement. “Everything I’ve accomplished in my career can be attributed to the U of I and the former players, coaches and staff who helped mold me into the person I am today. It’s awesome to be able to work with Coach Bielema as a part of his staff and to work and learn under him.”