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REPORT: MSU to hire former Illinois assistant Billy Gonzales

The former Illinois assistant worked along side Mullen at Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida before Mullen came to MSU in 2009.

Mullen hires away Billy Gonzales from Tim Beckman's Illinois staff
Mullen hires away Billy Gonzales from Tim Beckman's Illinois staff

[UPDATE, 6:00p.m.] - Pete Roussel of reports that Tim Brewster will be shifted to tight ends coach / special teams coordinator following the addition of Billy Gonzales today.

This is what most have seen floating around this afternoon following the report of Gonzales' hiring. Gonzales will likely take over the wide receivers coaching position, with Brewster moving to tight ends and special teams. This, obviously, bumps Scott Sallach down, who was the former ends coach. Sallach will most likely stay with the program it seems, but in an administrative role.


Mississippi State is expected to hire former Illinois co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales soon, reports Brandon Marcello with the Clarion-Ledger. The report comes nearly a week after it was first reported that Gonzales was leaving Illinois for an unnamed job elsewhere. I guess we now know that job is Mississippi State.

So what do we know about Gonzales? For starters, he's another from the Urban Meyer coaching tree. Gonzales coached along side Dan Mullen at stops at Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida, serving as Mullen's wide receivers coach at each stop. Gonzales stayed on for one more season at Florida after Mullen left for MSU before heading to LSU to serve on Les Miles' staff as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. Most recently, Billy served on Tim Beckman's staff at Illinois as the co-offensive coordinator along side Chris Beatty, who was let go after just one season under Beckman.

There had been whispers for awhile that another staff hiring/change was coming, and we now know those whispers were true. As Marcello points out in the above linked article, MSU is currently at its full limit of assistants, meaning one current assistant will probably get bumped to an administrative position. We do not yet know who that will be. We also do not know yet what capacity Gonzales will serve in on the staff. Obviously State already has a wide receivers coach in Tim Brewster. I doesn't look like Gonzales will be the offensive coordinator, but again, it's unclear what capacity he will serve in at MSU. Mullen may opt to split up the duties coaching the passing game between Brewster and Gonzales, we just don't know yet. More on that once we hear something.

On the recruiting side of things, Gonzales seems to be another really strong hire for Mullen's recruiting staff. Gonzales was the recruiting coordinator for the Florida Gators in 2008 and 2009, and has been a part of various successful recruiting cycles at both Florida and LSU.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. In the mean time, here's a video from Gonzales' Illinois coaching profile showing a day of him at practice.