Both hires have previous ties to ISU and the Bloomington-Normal community.
2014 Redbird Spring Football
Bloomington (Ill.) High School graduate and former Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken is in his first season as wide receivers coach at Illinois State.
Dicken spent the last four seasons across town as a full-time assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan working under head coach Norm Eash, but finished his 12th year as a Titan assistant overall. As the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2013, Dicken helped the Titans advance to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the third time in five seasons and a No. 14 national ranking.
Before returning to the Twin Cities, he was the wide receivers coach at Division II Eastern New Mexico in 2009, when the Greyhounds were the national leader with 448 passing yards per game.
Dicken and Spack have a long history together, as Dicken was a quarterback for Purdue during Spack's tenure as defensive coordinator with the Boilermakers. As a senior in 1997, Dicken thrived under the tutelage of then first-year head coach Joe Tiller and his spread offensive attack. Dicken led the Big Ten Conference in pass attempts (407), completions (224), passing yards (3,136) and passing touchdowns (21) on his way to being named a First Team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches. He was also named the "Outstanding Offensive Player" in the Alamo Bowl, when he tied Purdue single-game marks with five touchdown passes and 60 attempts.
After his career at Purdue, Dicken went on to play for several Arena Football League teams including the Columbus Destroyers, New Orleans VooDoo, Detroit Fury, Chicago Rush and Quad City Steamwheelers as well as the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League. A 2008 graduate of Illinois State, Dicken earned a master's degree from Eastern New Mexico in Sports Administration in 2012.
He and his wife, Jessica, reside in Bloomington, Ill., with their daughter, Ashlyn.