NORMAL — Illinois State football coach Brock Spack expects to move quickly in filling his offensive coordinator opening.
“I want to get it done fairly soon. But obviously I want to make sure it’s getting done the right way,” Spack said between a flurry of phone calls Tuesday at the Kaufman Football Building. “There are a lot of steps to the process. I’m going through all that right now.”
Spack fired co-offensive coordinators Billy Dicken and Dan Clark as well as wide receivers coach Kane Keirnan. Dicken also served as quarterbacks coach and Clark as offensive line coach.
ISU finished at 6-5 and did not make the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2013.
When asked what he is looking for in the Redbirds’ next offensive coordinator, Spack declined to offer specifics.
“I have certain things I’m looking for. I’m not going to tell you everything,” he said. “2014-15 is what I’m looking for. Those were pretty good offenses, weren’t they?”
Spack added he wants his new coordinator to “establish our identity. We’re looking for an identity.”
With three offensive openings, Spack would prefer to fill the coordinator role first.
“It’s like recruiting. Certain guys you want to say yes first,” said Spack, who has a 68-40 record over his first nine seasons at the Redbird helm. “It’s a juggling act, but you would like to have a certain order and that would be the first one. Sometimes it’s out of your control.”
Dicken and Clark were named co-coordinators before the 2016 season when Kurt Beathard resigned over the summer. Spack would prefer to return to a single coach in charge of the offense.
“That’s absolutely correct,” he said. “You’ve got to have one guy who has the final say. There are a lot of moving parts in football. That would be the perfect world, yes.”
Spack also believes it is “the natural thing to do” to have his new coordinator also be the quarterbacks coach.
“It doesn’t make it necessary,” Spack said, “but it does make it easier because the quarterback is involved in all the calls.”