Beckman will be back as Illinois coach in 2014

Illinois coach Tim Beckman will be back in 2014 after a second

consecutive losing season.

Athletic director Mike Thomas confirmed the decision Monday

through a spokesman.

The Illini finished 4-8 (1-7 Big Ten) in Beckman’s second season

at Illinois, and lost their finale 37-34 on Saturday to

Northwestern. He faced speculation about his job security through

much of the season, much as he had a year earlier when Illinois

went 2-12.

Illinois spokesman Kent Brown said there hadn’t been any doubt

that Beckman would return for 2014.

”I don’t think there was ever any consideration of making a

change,” Brown said. Thomas and Beckman were traveling Monday and

not available for comment.

Beckman is finishing up the second year of a five-year contract

that paid him $1.7 million this year and $9 million in all. After

Saturday’s loss, Beckman sounded as if he expected to keep his

job.

”We’re going to take this program one step forward each and

every day and make it better,” he said.

Defensive coordinator Tim Banks has been dogged by rumors that

he won’t be back. Illinois’ defense was at or near the bottom of

the Big Ten in most defensive categories. The team gave up 35.4

points a game (10th in the 12-team conference) and 481.5 yards

(11th).

Banks said after the game that he hadn’t given much thought to

whether he’ll be back.

”All I can do is the best that I can. I think that the things I

have done as a coach for the past 18 years stand on their own,” he

said. ”No, to answer your question, I don’t worry about

that.”

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