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Posted on Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Michigan football team loses assistant strength and conditioning coach Aaron Hillmann

By Kyle Meinke

Three days after the Michigan football team's Sugar Bowl victory, Brady Hoke lost his first assistant as the Wolverines' head coach.

Assistant strength and conditioning coach Aaron Hillmann accepted a job on the staff of new Illinois head coach Tim Beckman, the school announced Friday. He will be the Illini's head strength and conditioning coach.

Hoke said Thursday he expected his staff to remain intact.

Hillmann served one season with the Wolverines, working under head strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman. He came to Ann Arbor via Bowling Green, where he spent 10 years overseeing the school's 18 sports.

He also spent time as an assistant strength coach at Notre Dame (1998-2001), Connecticut (1996-98), Cincinnati (1995-96) and Ball State (1992-95).

Michigan hosts Illinois for homecoming on Oct. 13.

Beckman replaces Ron Zook, whom the Illini fired before playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. They won that game against UCLA to finish 7-6. They were 2-6 in Big Ten play.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

TRAITOR!~!!!!!!!!!! (just kidding). Good luck to him.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 7:37 a.m.

Terry you are a bit off on both counts. We are not the Big Ten's highest ranked BCS team (Wisky is), nor are we the best in the Big Ten, else we would have at least won a division. Don't let the BCS putting us in a BCS game - even one that was not a New Year's game - confuse you into thinking we are elite. This is the first Sugar Bowl without a Top Ten team since the 1950's. But hey, we are Michigan!


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 8:02 a.m.

I agree we were not the best this year.. But it was a great year, and step in the right direction. UM could very well be the favorite to win the B1G next year.

Terry Star21

Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

As the Big Tens highest BCS ranked team, the best in the Big Ten - do we really need an assistant ? in the Big Ten


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Mr. Kyle, I'm mad at you pal, you scared the hell out of me with that headline! When I read it I thought you made a typo and meant Aaron Wellman and then I read the article and learned we had 2 Aaron's whose surname ends with man. Whew, I know Hoke was very high on Wellman and I was wondering why he would leave so soon, so don't do that anymore my blueberry muffin lovin' friend! BTW, Ondre Pipkins is a mega beast who will dominate, he had a high motor with great lateral movement in that Army All-American Game. A little work with the Aaron that stayed, lol, can only improve him. That kid is gonna play as a Freshman, mark my word!


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Cant blame the guy for leaving for a better gig. Good luck to him


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 7:59 a.m.

Im in no way bashing UM. And GoBigBlue has it right. I cant imagine the guy wants to be an assistant his whole life...


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Whoops, I meant RJ not Terry in my 2nd sentence.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 4:58 a.m.

Easy now Terry. I would venture to say that Terry meant it's a better gig because he will be the HEAD strength and conditioning coach and not the assistant S&C coach. So that would make it a better gig. I understand your need to defend our beloved Wolverines on here because of a lot of the bone heads. But I think RJ has a legit comment here and was not disrespecting Michigan. : )

Terry Star21

Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

Right. Illinois lost their last 6 games of the season, Michigan won their last 4 and a BCS Bowl and is the toast of the Big Ten as the highest BCS team. Right.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

So, basically, there were two men named Aaron running strength and conditioning here? Eliminating that confusion would be worth the loss. (Just kidding.) One of those Aarons knows the value of staying: those who stay get to coach champions. (Doubting of course, the Illini will be champions any time soon.) Champaign, Illinois - at least from the one photo I've seen - looks a lot like Ann Arbor. So Coach Hillman should have little trouble adjusting there. Good luck, Coach. (but not too much good luck, lol!)


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

Probably being the boss man and more money is what took him away.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 5:06 a.m.

Hey Sparty, why do you care so much?


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

You think???