Joining Western Illinois with 10-plus years of Division I experience as a former student-athlete and coach, Dyrell Roberts will serve as the Leathernecks’ wide receivers’ coach. He began his post in March of 2019 after two seasons in a similar capacity at Norfolk State where he was responsible for the wide receivers while also serving as the special teams' coordinator. A season ago, the team led the nation as the top-ranked punt return unit in the FCS with an average of 21.86 yards per return. In his first year on staff at NSU, Roberts helped mentor Marcus Taylor, who made the All-MEAC team as a kick returner (second team) and receiver (third team) in 2017. Taylor tied for first in the MEAC in receptions, led the conference in kick return average and all-purpose yards, and was sixth in receiving yards. Taylor also became the first Spartan in the school’s Division I era (since 1997) to make the all-conference team at more than one position in the same year. Prior to Norfolk State, Roberts worked at Saint Joseph’s College (2016-17) and Earlham College (2015-16). He received his coaching start at his high school alma mater, Smithfield High School, in 2013, where he served as the assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator for the varsity football team. Roberts earned his bachelor’s degree in human development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2012 and was a four-year letterman on the Hokies’ football program under legendary head coach Frank Beamer. He was a member of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championship teams (2008, ’10, ’11) and also assisted Tech to three bowl championship titles – the 2018 Orange Bowl, 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl, and 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl. In 2010, Roberts ranked fourth nationally in kick return average at 31.9 yards per return. He graduated as Virginia Tech’s all-time leader in both career kick return yardage (1,577) and kick return average (25.9). Roberts also caught 96 passes for 1,363 yards and six touchdowns.