U of I football assistant takes leave of absence


University of Illinois defensive coordinator Vince Okruch has taken a temporary leave of absence from the team, the school announced Thursday.

Assistants Dan Disch and Curt Mallory have been named interim co-defensive coordinators, head coach Ron Zook said.

The reason for Okruch’s departure was not disclosed. Okruch, who left the team this week, could miss the entire season.

"Vince has decided to take a leave of absence from the staff, which is something he feels is best for him personally," Zook said in a news release. "We appreciate the leadership and guidance that Vince provided the team last season.

"In the interim, I have asked Dan and Curt to move into these roles. Both Dan and Curt have been with this program since our day one. They have been primed for these positions and I trust them whole-heartedly."

In 2006, Okruch’s first season at Illinois, the defense showed vast improvement. The Illini ranked fifth in the Big Ten in overall defense.

Disch and Mallory each enter their third season on the Illini staff. Disch is linebackers and special teams coach, while Mallory handles the secondary.