Illinois expected to tab Koenning as DC

Illinois will hire Kansas State co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning to the same position, ESPN.com has learned.

Koenning will be the sole defensive coordinator with the Fighting Illini, who demoted co-coordinators Dan Disch and Curt Mallory last week. Disch will coach the linebackers in 2010, while Mallory will coach the defensive backs.

Koenning and Chris Cosh oversaw a Kansas State defense that ranked 40th nationally and 16th against the run. Koenning spent just one year with the Wildcats after serving as Clemson's defensive coordinator from 2005-08. The Tigers' defense finished in the top 25 nationally in scoring, total defense, and pass efficiency defense in each of Koenning's four seasons there.

An Illinois official couldn't confirm Koenning's hiring and said no official announcement would be made Tuesday.

Credit head coach Ron Zook and the Illinois administration for being aggressive in the recent hires. New offensive coordinator Paul Petrino is a solid addition, and Illinois will pay him handsomely ($475,000 annually). Koenning likely can expect a nice salary as well.

Zook tried to bring in Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson last year, but Johnson ended up staying in State College.