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AP source: Illinois hires Ricker to be line coach

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A person familiar with the move says Illinois has hired former Western Michigan assistant coach A.J. Ricker to fill the vacancy left by offensive line coach Jim Bridge's unexpected resignation.

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The person wasn't authorized to speak on Ricker's hire, but said on condition of anonymity that Ricker joined Illinois on Thursday as the team entered the third day of spring football practices.

Bridge was hired by coach Tim Beckman in January, but left this week for Purdue. His departure was one of several from Beckman's staff since the end of last falls' 2-10 season.

Illini offensive coordinator Bill Cubit was Western Michigan's head coach during Ricker's two seasons as offensive line coach.

Ricker spent the 2009 season as head coach at Division II St. Joseph's College in Indiana.

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