Virginia loses linebackers coach Clint Sintim to Illinois

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia football has lost linebackers coach Clint Sintim, who was officially named Sunday as the new outside linebackers coach at Illinois.

Sintim, 38, has spent the last four seasons at UVA, his alma mater, working for Tony Elliott and Bronco Mendenhall. He originally was hired by Mendenhall as a defensive line coach from 2020-21, then moved to linebackers coach the past two seasons and helped develop freshman All-American linebacker Cam Robinson this past year.

“I am excited about what Coach Sintim will bring to our program and our outside linebackers room,” said Illinois coach Bret Bielema. “Coach Sintim’s experiences as a player at Virginia, then with the New York Giants, and now in coaching, will bring tremendous value to our team as well as our recruiting in the state of Illinois and the East Coast. He will be a great addition to our Illini football family.”

Sintim will replace Charlie Bullen, who only spent one season at Illinois before moving on to the New York Giants.

Sintim is the second former UVA player to leave the Cavaliers in the last two seasons. Former wide receivers coach Marques Hagans, who also was a former Cavalier star, left after the 2022 season to accept a similar role at Penn State.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Illinois football program under Coach Bielema’s leadership,” Sintim said of the move. “During my interview, I had a great feeling about the team and staff. My wife, Angie, and our children are excited to begin this next chapter in Champaign.”

A standout linebacker for Coach Al Groh at Virginia, Sintim led the nation in quarterback sacks his senior campaign (12.5) and as a four-year starter posted 27 career sacks.

The New York Giants chose Sintim in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2009. He played three years in the league, and was a member of the Super Bowl XLVI champion Giants.

After his playing career, Sintim got into coaching and started at West Alabama in 2014, then moved to Richmond (2015-16) and Delaware (2017-18) prior to returning to UVA.

Sintim is the fourth assistant Bielema has hired this offseason after firing a portion of his defensive staff following the 2023 season.