Big East Football: Cincinnati Co-Defensive Coordinator Leaves for Illinois

By Alex Callos

After two years with the same coaching staff, Butch Jones is now short a man as co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks left for the same position at Illinois.

It was rumored early in the offseason that the Fighting Illini may be interested in Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, but instead went in a different direction. They were however interested in Banks.

Before arriving at Cincinnati, Banks served in the same capacity at Central Michigan under Jones. Banks also served three seasons coaching linebackers at Maryland and one year coaching their secondary before arriving at his alma mater Central Michigan.

Losing Banks will be a big blow for Cincinnati as he was in charge of calling plays on defense and will certainly be missed.

Cincinnati can go one of two ways now that Banks is gone. They can either leave all of the duties up to their other defensive coordinator John Jacek who also coached the linebackers last season. They could also hire another co-defensive coordinator.

Banks did a good job of improving on a defense that was dead last in the Big East in 2010. This year Cincinnati was one of the best defenses in the country against the run and led the nation in sacks.

He certainly helped in the development of players like Derek Wolfe and J.K. Schaffer over the past two seasons as well as younger players like Maalik Bomar and Nick Temple.

It is hard to keep a coaching unit intact for an entire offseason, let alone two, particularly with the success Cincinnati had last year.

Either way, Butch Jones will likely figure it out and have Cincinnati clicking on all cylinders next year.


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