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Illinois football assistant Ben Miller taking leave after cancer diagnosis

Miller said he has already had successful surgery.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois assistant coach Ben Miller is taking a leave of absence from the program after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

In a statement, Miller said he was diagnosed early last month and has already undergone a successful surgery.

He said he will begin chemotherapy treatments soon.

“I will remain in communication and be involved with our staff and student-athletes as much as possible,” Miller said. “Thank you to my wife, Meghan, my kids and my extended family for their strength and encouragement. I appreciate Coach Bielema, the staff, and the Illinois athletic department for all the incredible support. I cannot wait to return as soon as possible. I-L-L”

Miller was named Illinois’ special teams coordinator and tight ends coach in January 2021.

He spent the previous 14 years as an assistant coach at Air Force.