CHAMPAIGN - Illinois assistant football coach Dan Disch, the co-defensive coordinator when the Illini made the run to the Rose Bowl three years ago, is leaving the program to become defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi.

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois assistant football coach Dan Disch, the co-defensive coordinator when the Illini made the run to the Rose Bowl three years ago, is leaving the program to become defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi.

Disch was the last member of the original coaching staff hired when Ron Zook was named Illinois coach after the 2004 season. Demoted to linebackers coach with the hiring of defensive coordinator Vic Koenning prior to last season, Disch also had strong recruiting ties in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., where he was a successful high school coach.

"It's a bitterwsweet deal because we sure love it here,'' Disch said Tuesday.

John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com.