UI Football Coach Beckman Returning In 2014
The University of Illinois’ Athletic Director says football coach Tim Beckman will return for a third season in 2014.
Athletic director Mike Thomas said Monday through a spokesman that Beckman will return. Thomas and Beckman plan to talk later this week about the football staff and other aspects of the program.
Speculation about Beckman's job security followed him through much of the 4-8 season that ended with Saturday's 37-34 loss to Northwestern. The Illini went 2-10 in his first year.
Beckman was traveling Monday and not available for comment. He is finishing the second year of a five-year contract.
Following a 37-34 loss to Northwestern to close out the season Saturday, Beckman told reporters his team has improved in every facet of the game, and that his players are doing things in the classroom that have never been done.
"We understand that it's about W's," he said. "We all understand it's about W's. But community-wise, what the kids' perception is around this community. What type of human beings they are. All those things are a credit to the senior class, and to this football team.
The 2013 season included one conference victory, a 20-16 win over Purdue on November 23.
Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and Michigan State's defense locked down Illinois Saturday on the way to a 42-3 win.
The Spartans (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) used a big defensive stand and a back-breaking drive to crush the Illini, scoring 14 points in the second, third, and fourth quarters.
Illinois (3-4, 0-3) was trailing 7-3 midway through the second quarter when it failed twice to punch the ball in from the Spartans 1-yard line. Michigan State took over and drove 99 yards for a touchdown. Cook found receiver Bennie Fowler from 18 yards for a 14-3 lead.
The Fighting Illini are in the midst of a 17-game losing streak to Big Ten opponents. Despite the lopsided loss, Fighting Illini Coach Tim Beckman said he felt there's a lot left to play for in the 2013 campaign.
"You've got five games left, we're 3-4, we're not 0-7," he said. "(We've) felt success, I believe in every one of these football players that we have, and our job as a coaching staff and as a football team and everybody involved in this family is to move forward and know we've got to get ourselves ready for Penn State (on the road next Saturday.)"
Cook finished an efficient 15-of-16 for 208 yards. Tailback Jeremy Langford had 104 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
The Spartans defense came into the game ranked first in the nation in total defense and held Illinois to just 128 yards. That included 25 on the ground.
Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 13-of-21 for 103 yards and an interception.