Tim Beckman will return to Illinois

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Tim Beckman has gone 6-18 in his first two seasons at Illinois
Tim Beckman has gone 6-18 in his first two seasons at Illinois. (USATSI)

Illinois will not be looking for a new head coach this offseason.

Athletic director Mike Thomas told WCIA in Champaign that Tim Beckman would return to the Illini for the 2014 season, putting to bed any possible speculation that he would be fired.

Beckman's first two seasons at Illinois have not gone very well. The team went 2-10 in 2012 and 0-8 in conference play. The Illini then lost their first six conference games this season before finally beating Purdue 20-16 to end a 20-game Big Ten losing streak. They finished the season 4-8.

However, while it may not be obvious to outside observers, there was significant improvement from the Illini in 2013, particularly on offense where a unit that averaged only 16.7 points per game last season averaged 29.7 points per game this season. However, that improved offense wasn't enough to make up for a defense that finished 112th in the nation in total defense, allowing 481.5 yards per game and 35.4 points per game.

So while Beckman may be returning to Champaign next season, it wouldn't be surprising to see some staff changes made. Beckman hired Bill Cubit before the 2013 season to fix the offense, and he may be looking for a defensive coordinator who can do the same for his defense this winter.

 
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