Oct 30, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema before the start of Saturday s NCAA football game with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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Illinois head coach Bret Bielema tests positive, out vs. Iowa

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema is out for Saturday’s game against Iowa after a breakthrough case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Monday.

Bielema, who is vaccinated and received a booster shot recently, tested positive but feels well enough to be involved from a distance as the Fighting Illini (4-6) ready for the Big Ten date with the Hawkeyes (8-2) on Saturday.

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said the positive test was another reminder “the pandemic is not over” but said preparation for a potential COVID-19 case on the coaching staff helped the team enact a plan for the week ahead.

Illinois assistant head coach George McDonald will assume Bielema’s gameday responsibilities.

“If all stays on the current path,” Bielema said in a statement issued through the school on Tuesday, “I should be available and present for next week.”

“I’m disappointed that I will not be with our team this week when we travel to Iowa, but I’m grateful that I’m vaccinated and received the booster shot last week.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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