All Quiet On The Coaching Front

Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

We're all still waiting for the heads to roll

It's been nearly two weeks since Mike Thomas confirmed that Tim Beckman would be back in Champaign next season and since that announcement, well, not much has changed.

During the season we heard too much about a coaching staff that didn't get along, and a coaching staff with too many cooks in the kitchen on offense. So it was only natural to assume that once it was decided Beckman would be staying changes to the coaching staff would soon follow.

It hasn't yet.

In fact, with the recent influx of juco signings we've seen -- and I'm happy to see them -- it's rather apparent that the coaching staff is out there pounding pavement on the recruiting trail. Nobody has lost their job as of yet, and you would think that if they were, they wouldn't be out recruiting at the moment.

So does this mean the entire coaching staff will be back in full?

I don't really know. Honestly, I haven't heard or read anything about Billy Gonzales being out recruiting, but it's not as though I'm tracking the coaches. I don't actually know. All I know is that if coaches were going to get axed I thought it would have happened by now, because it's not something you really want to wait on.

With all these vacant head coaching jobs being taken, all those coaches are going to start putting together staffs at their new schools. So the longer the Illini sit around the more difficult it may become to get the coaches they want on the staff.

Of course, there's another side to this as well. It could be that Beckman is waiting for one of these new head coaches to poach Billy Gonzalez off the Illinois staff. That keeps the blood off his hands and allows everybody to deny there was ever any discord on the staff.

The good news is that back in 2009 when Ron Zook brought in both Vic Koenning and Paul Petrino to run the defense and the offense the hires weren't announced until December 15th. So it's not as if there is a deadline for hiring or firing new coaches.

Still, the longer we wait for an announcement, the more nervous I get.

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