Back like he never left.
After a brief hiatus away from the Champaign campus, Patrick Bittle returned to the Illinois basketball program as he was officially announced as the Illini's video coordinator this past week.
Bittle, who graduated from Harrisburg in 2016, was recently named Director of Basketball Operations at James Madison University in June. However, a chance to return "home" was a possibility he couldn't pass up.
"It's a dream come true to be back at Illinois," Bittle said. "I grew up rooting for them and he first basketball game I remember watching was the 2005 National championship game vs UNC."
Bittle attended U of I out of high school and served as Illinois manager from 2016-2020, where he helped with practices, on campus visits, filming practices and working summer basketball camps.
A bond he formed with Illinois head coach Brad Underwood is one that Bittle is grateful for.
"Coach Underwood and the staff are a huge reason why I got an opportunity in the basketball world and to be back here helping them is really exciting. I'll handle all video operations within the program, game planning, scouting, and other daily operations. I was around when Coach Underwood was building this program up and now to be back and see the program on the national stage is awesome."
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.