CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois football coach Lovie Smith named Austin Clark as defensive line coach on Friday.
Clark spent the past two seasons at Southern Cal, working with the defensive line and outside linebackers.
"Austin Clark came in for his interview and just blew us away with his enthusiasm and detail," Smith said. "He brings an outstanding attitude and high level of energy to our program. Our players are going to love working with Austin. He is extremely detailed and has a plan for each of the guys on the defensive line. Austin gained some great experience in his previous position, and will be a terrific addition to our staff."
Following his playing career at California, Clark served one year with the Golden Bears as a recruiting assistant before moving to Southern Cal as a defensive graduate assistant.
Clark, 27, spent six years (2009-14) as a defensive tackle at California during an injury-plagued career. As a 2014 sixth-year senior starter, he had 22 tackles and made All-Pac-12 honorable mention while winning Cal's Joe Roth Award (awarded to the player who best exemplifies courage, sportsmanship and attitude). He missed 2014 spring practice because of an injury.
Clark received his bachelor's degree in American studies from California in 2014 and a master's in communication management from USC. He prepped at Plant High in Tampa (Fla.), where he helped his team to the 2008 state championship as a senior.