Illinois hired Tony Petersen as its next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, ending his time at Appalachian State after only one season.
Petersen is the first hire of head coach Bret Bielema. The move means the Mountaineers will have their fourth offensive playcaller in as many seasons when 2021 kicks off.
"After competing against Tony and his offensive style and game plan I have had tremendous respect for him as a coach," Bielema said in a press release on Monday. "Throughout his career he has blended the roster and skill sets of the players to maximize the results.
"Here at Illinois, we will build an offensive identity that will provide balance, use tempo, and play with a physicality that will make Illini Nation smile."
As a member of Shawn Clark's first App State coaching staff, Petersen led an offense that could plow through the ground — the Mountaineers were ninth nationally with 264.9 yards per game. But they struggled through the air, averaging 187.1 passing yards (105th out of 127 teams in the country) while dealing with the opt out of deep-play threat Corey Sutton and nagging injuries in the wide receiver room.
This will be Petersen's second stint in the Big Ten Conference. He coached at Minnesota from 1999 to 2006.