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Reports: Illinois hires Mizzou defensive coordinator Ryan Walters

It looks like one of Mizzou football's top coaches is headed to rival Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Mizzou/Illinois rivalry may have gotten a bit more juice to it Wednesday.

Multiple reports circulating confirm that Missouri defensive coordinator Ryan Walters has accepted the same job in Bret Bielema's new staff at Illinois.

Walters started at Mizzou as a safeties coach in 2015, and has been the team's defensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

The Tigers allowed an average of 32.3 points per game in their 10-game SEC schedule in 2020. That was ninth in the conference.

Bielema was hired at Illinois after former head coach Lovie Smith was fired following a 2-6 record in their 2020 Big Ten season.

Missouri and Illinois are set to renew their rivalry on the football field in 2026.

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