NORMAL – Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford, one of the Illinois State Football team’s offensive co-coordinators for the past two seasons, has left the Redbirds to become the state running backs coach from New Mexico.
âIt has always been a goal of mine after playing FBS football to return to FBS training,â Muhammad-Lankford said on Tuesday. “It continues to move up the ranks so to speak.”
Muhammad-Lankford was the ISU receivers coach for three years before becoming the offensive co-coordinator in the spring and fall of 2021 with CJ Irvin. Muhammad-Lankford also held the title of Associate Attacking Head Coach on Head Coach Brock Spack’s staff.
âI will have the opportunity to work with Coach Kill,â Muhammad-Lankford said of former Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois and Kansas State coach Jerry Kill. “Like Coach Spack, he is a very respected legend in the profession from whom I will have the opportunity to learn.”
Muhammad-Lankford said he looked on with emotion on his time at the ISU.
âCoach Spack has been amazing helping me continue to grow and develop as a coach,â he said. âThe people my wife and I have had the opportunity to meet will certainly be missed. I will miss everything. ISU has been good for me and my family.
Spack called Muhammad-Lankford âan excellent young football coach. He did a great job. He has been a great mentor to our players and our staff. He’s a hard worker, a great person, a great family man. He worked hard in recruiting. He was the accomplished worker.
Spack is looking for a replacement “to help our passing game”. The ISU coach doesn’t expect a quick hire and has yet to decide whether a new coordinator will be recruited, whether Irvin will continue in his current role or become the sole offensive coordinator.
âWe’re going to take our time. The (coaching) market is crazy right now, âSpack said. âWe have to let that take hold and see what’s out there and what’s available to us. We may not have anyone by the end of the next signing period (early February).
Spack is recovering at his Bloomington home from reconstructive surgery on his right foot on December 15.
âDr. (Bryce) Pascold did a good job. I’m very sure it will go well,â Spack said Tuesday. âIt bothered me for a long time. I was hoping to wait until I finished training, “But it was getting worse. It was affecting other joints in my body. I was unhappy. I had to get it fixed.”
Spack had torn the plantar fascia in his foot during his playing days at Purdue in the early 1980s. The treatment allowed Spack to return to linebacker duties but did not provide a long-term solution.
âThey don’t do this procedure anymore. That and the weather made my foot flatter and my arch dropped, âsaid the ISU coach. âI had a lot of grass in my big toe. He (Pascholt) had to rebuild that big toe. They did a lot of things, put a lot of material in my foot. “
Spack plans to return to work in January and looks forward to a pain-free future.
âI’m going to lie on my back for a few weeks and get back to work,â he said. âI told the doctor that all I wanted to do was walk normally again and not have any problems. I want to take long walks on the beach with my wife and not be in pain when I walk on the soccer field.
Spack became the ISU’s all-time leader in coaching wins last season and is entering his 14th year with the Redbirds.
Contact Randy Reinhardt at (309) 820-3403. Follow him on Twitter: pg_reinhardt