Illinois State hires Purdue D-coordinator Spack as coach

NORMAL, Ill. -- Purdue defensive coordinator Brock Spack will be Illinois State University's next head football coach after he was passed over for the top job with the Boilermakers.

Illinois State sports information director Todd Kober said the school will introduce Spack at a news conference on Wednesday.

Spack will take over for Denver Johnson, who resigned after Illinois State's season ended last month.

The Redbirds were 3-8 this season, and 2-6 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. It was the team's second straight losing season.

The 45-year-old Spack spent 12 seasons at Purdue. Before that he was the defensive coordinator at Wyoming. He also was an assistant at Eastern Illinois University.

"Certainly, we are happy for Brock, but sorry to see him go," new Purdue coach Danny Hope said in a statement Monday. "When I took the job at Purdue, I knew it was likely there would be some attrition on the staff, with guys leaving to become head coaches or coordinators."

Hope came to Purdue in January to be the coach-in-waiting to replace longtime head coach Joe Tiller, who retired at the end of this season.

Spack said in a statement Monday night that he couldn't pass up the Illinois State job.

"The opportunity to become the head coach at Illinois State was too good for me to let pass by, even though I love Purdue. Illinois State is a great school, with a lot of resources, and they are committed to winning," he said.

Spack was an all-Big Ten linebacker at Purdue and played for the Boilermakers from 1980 to 1983. He is from Rockford.