Watch Now: Through the spring soccer follow in Illinois, everybody shall be judged, together with assistant coach and head coach Bret Bielema himself school sports activities

“I’ve been training for 20 years and it was the first time in such an environment that a coach made me become a better coach,” said McDonald. “I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of this staff and come back because Coach B”

McDonald’s coaching resume is deep. From 2009 to 2010 he spent two seasons coaching broadband receivers in Cleveland Browns. Bielema refreshed some of the exercises McDonald had been doing for years.

Illinois’ Chase Brown (2) catches a pass during spring training on Saturday.

David Craan, University of Illinois Sports Information Center

“(Coach Bielema) told me when I decided to come that he would make me a better coach and he made me a better coach every day,” said McDonald. “That was a case where I did the exercises for so long and he said, ‘Have you thought about doing the exercises this way?’ I hadn’t and the next day we did and it made that individual period better.

“I thought it was great. It was a reality check because I think we all think we’re the best at what we do. To have coaches, and he doesn’t necessarily rate you, but he says, “Hey George, I think we need to improve this and I think you can.”

With the first week of spring practice on the books, Bielema has seen progress. He’s not yet going to publicly reveal who has earned his respect, but the players in the room who did so know.

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