Just in case you thought the Illinois Fighting Illini Football program had gone too long without shedding another position coach or coordinator, you can now rest at ease.
#illini coach Bill Cubit confirmed to me that Tim Banks is out as defensive coordinator. Cubit said Banks "will pursue other opportunities."— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) December 18, 2015
Mike Phair will take over as #illini defensive coordinator. Illinois will hire two more assistant coaches.— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) December 18, 2015
8 AM on a the last Friday morning of the semester seems like a perfectly reasonable time to drop this little news dump.
This isn't really that bad of news. Frustrating because of the promise of #StaBillity and all that, but not much of a blow at all. Tim Banks had been a good defensive coordinator at Cincinnati for three seasons before joining Tim Beckman's staff in 2012. For whatever reason, he was simply unable to recapture that magic in Champaign. His defenses finished 81st (2012), 103rd (2013), and 72nd (2014) in S&P. Those numbers range from bad to awful. He was demoted to co-DC this last season and Mike Phair was brought in to shore up what had been pretty abysmal defensive line play and the defense finished 17th in S&P.
This is now the fourth coach to leave or be fired from Bill Cubit's coaching staff over the past month. Good luck elsewhere Coach Banks.