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Veteran Big Ten Assistant Coach Ron Zook Is Stepping Down

Ron Zook with his hand on his chin while coaching Illinois

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 27: Ron Zook the Head Coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini is pictured during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on November 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Maryland Terrapins special teams coordinator Ron Zook is reportedly expected to step down, per ESPN college football

Sources: #Maryland special teams coordinator Ron Zook, the former Florida/Illinois coach, is expected to step down. The team likely will replace Zook with James Thomas Jr., who spent the 2021 season as a special teams analyst under Zook. Thomas recently joined Florida's staff.

— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 17, 2022

">insider Adam Rittenberg. Zook joined head coach Mike Locksley's staff as an analyst in 2019. This past season, he was promoted to associated head coach, ST coordinator and outside linebackers coach. According to Rittenburg, Zook's special teams coordinator role will likely be replaced by James Thomas Jr., who served as a special team analyst under Zook this past season.

Thomas Jr. left the Terrapins this offseason to to take a job as a quality control assistant for the Florida Gators' cornerback unit. But with this opening in Maryland, he could very well return to the program.

Rittenberg added that Zook, 67, is likely retiring.

Ron Zook went 57-65 as a head coach for Florida (2002-04) and Illinois (2005-11).