University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman will return in 2013 after going 2-10 in his first season.
Following the 36-point loss to Northwestern in the season finale there was growing speculation that athletic director Mike Thomas would fire Beckman after just one season–even if that was perceived to be too short of a leash for a coach.
However, it is expected that some changes will be made to Beckman’s staff and could see a new offensive and defensive coordinator running those respective units next season.
The Fighting Illini struggled mightily on offense this season finishing the season with the 110th ranked passing offense, 102nd rushing offense and 122nd in scoring offense at a woeful 16.7 points per game.
Defensively, the Illini didn’t fare much better, but at least cracked the top 100 in scoring defense giving up 32.1 points per game which ranked 95th in the nation.
Beckman did little to endear himself to the fan base when he feverishly recruited Penn State in the wake of their sanctions that allowed players to transfer without sitting out a year having basically sent his entire coaching staff to State College.
The growing apathy from the students, alumni and fan base was evident with the number of vacant seats at Memorial Stadium this season as Northwestern and Northern Illinois have soared past the Illini as the top programs in the state.
Little hope is in store for the 2013 season and another 2-10 season could be in order for the Illini who went winless in the Big Ten for the fourth time in the last 16 seasons getting outscored on average 35-12 in conference play.
Beckman was severely in over his head this season and if you’re a fan of the Illini you have to hope he settles in during his second season.
However, I have my doubts about whether he is cut out for a job of this stature and whether it was his first year or not; he is not the coach to build this program up and should have been fired.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.