In news that should surprise no one after yesterday's win over the Northwestern Wildcats, third year Illinois Fighting Illini football coach Tim Beckman has been told he will be back for the 2015 season. It's not hyperbole to say that yesterday's game was potentially a must-win for him. After 2-10 and 4-8 seasons to start his tenure in Champaign, most believed Beckman needed to reach a bowl game this year to keep his job.
After the Purdue loss, that seemed all but impossible. Somehow the team managed to knockoff Minnesota, Penn State, and Northwestern to reach six wins. That's not a murderer's row by any means, but six wins is six wins. According to Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times, both offensive coordinator Bill Cubit and defensive coordinator Tim Banks are under the impressions that they'll be retained as well. That's less exciting news, as most of us had been hoping for a change at defensive coordinator at least. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Statement from Mike Thomas:
"It was important to see improvement in our football program this season. Over the last month, we have won three of our last five games, including a pair of Big Ten wins over teams (Minnesota & Penn State) who are headed to the postseason. Our student-athletes have played their best football of the season down the stretch of a tough schedule that included nine bowl-eligible opponents. It's my expectation that with the upcoming bowl and another off-season of development, that Tim's continued leadership will keep Fighting Illini Football moving forward and even more competitive in the conference and nationally."
Statement from Tim Beckman:
"This is all about our team and the seniors who are our leaders. We all understand that this is a work in progress and that we need to continue moving forward in a positive way. I'm very proud of our six wins so far this season and the toughness we showed down the stretch."