Beckman: 'I've lost 22 pounds'

Beckman: 'I've lost 22 pounds'

CHAMPAIGN — The criticism toward Illinois first-year coach Tim Beckman has come from everywhere.

Media. Message boards. Even fans a few rows behind the Illini bench were giving the coach the business as Indiana put the finishing touches on a 31-17 win Saturday to spoil homecoming at Memorial Stadium.

Publicly, Beckman hasn’t said much about the backlash. But when asked how he was holding up after his team’s fifth consecutive loss, Beckman was candid.

“Awesome! How do I look?” he said. “I’ve lost 22 pounds. You think I like losing? I haven’t been around it. I hate it. We just continue to go and plug forward. I’ve learned a lot.”

For the sake of their coach’s health, the Illini better find a way to win a game soon, but that appears to be a daunting task. No. 9 Ohio State is up next, followed by an improved Minnesota squad, a Purdue team that took Ohio State into overtime last week and a visit to bowl-eligible Northwestern.

The best bet for a win appeared to be Indiana (3-5, 1-3), but the Hoosiers used the steady play of backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld (two TD passes) to end an 11-game conference losing streak.

If the Illini (2-6, 0-4) need reassurance that things can get better, they should just look across the field at the program that extended their Big Ten losing streak to 10 games Saturday.

The Hoosiers are operating under a second-year coaching staff, and though they haven’t been winning games, they’ve been competitive. Illinois has not been. During their five-game losing streak, the Illini have been outscored 194-62.

“You’re looking at some programs that have built some continuity, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” Beckman said. “You want it to happen fast, just like everybody does. You want to be successful as fast as you possibly can, but right now, we’re not. We’ve got to evaluate the things again that we’re doing and create things that can help our players be successful and this program be successful.”

Eight penalties for 81 yards, including two personal fouls, didn’t help that cause. Neither did two turnovers.

“We can’t do those things,” Beckman said. “We’re not a good enough football team — or anybody’s a good enough football team — to do those things. That ended up biting us, and we ended up losing the football game.”

The Illini did get the offense going some, a game after racking up 134 total yards at Michigan. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (208 total yards) threw a touchdown pass to Eddie Viliunas and ran for another. Donovonn Young rushed for 124 yards, the second time in his career the sophomore has eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

For their part, the players have recognized their coach’s struggle.

“He does his job and he counts on us 18- to 22-year-olds, and when I try to look at it from his perspective, I feel like that’s a tough job,” Young said. “We’re not always accountable, and he’s putting all his trust into us, and I know that’s tough for him. He believes in us, and we’re going to keep believing in him.”

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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LoyalIllini wrote on October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

so coach, what discipline do you give for personal fouls?  Justin Staples was in the game right after his blatant foul.  What about Foster's bonehead offsides at 4th and 1?  That is what IU was countinjg on and they had our #.  Do you?  And does Banks get disciplined?  At least Tommy sat after muffing the punt catch.

illinifaningeorgia wrote on October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

Beckman: “I’ve lost 22 pounds. "

Lose the remaining 190 pounds (or whatever) and disappear!!




oandb wrote on October 28, 2012 at 9:10 am

Yep- Thomas hired yet another ME first coach. We fired another one last spring and we all know how he worked out. This guy makes big money and yet tells everyone how much weight he has lost. No one cares Timmy. You are lucky to have this job so man up and keep the soft comments about yourself as far away from the football office as possible. This is football not Oprah. Seriously.

Penalties, tunovers, bad play callling once again. That is coaching. It is truly embarrassing. We have now hit rock bottom in the conference.

Moonpie wrote on October 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I agree that Beckman's grade school motivation tactics now seem as lame as a Saint Tate column.

But the guy just doesn't have players--no speed. No talent.

And out-recruiting Toledo won't get it done.

Give Beckman another year to show progress. If not, look for an actual experienced head coach. Offer him Tate's parking spot.


JohnUI82 wrote on October 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

"But when asked how he was holding up ..."

Not to be a Beckman apologist, but the only way to answer that question is to talk about himself. Damned if he does, damned (as rude) if he doesn't. 

PeterE wrote on October 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

It's clear Beckman has no answers and is way out of his depth. He needs to be at a hick school instead where his corny amateurish pyschology of lasagna, beans and wieners works with that caliber of player. Beckman and his coaching staff are so out of their league as to be incompetent in the B1G TEN. Illinois is being humiliated, ridiculed around the league and is the laughing stock of the nation. One of WORST hires in Illinois history.

AZ intererst wrote on October 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

This is getting really old.  Mike Thomas has got to swallow his ego and make the tough decision, replace Beckman before this program gets so far down in the dumps that it takes a decade to turn things around.  This chaotic football farce is as much Thomas's fault as it is Beckman's.  Beckman is NOT ready to be a Big Ten head coach, plain and simple....and obvious.  It is not just his win/loss record.  His Penn State recruiting fiasco, the goofy pouridge he fed his players, the second rate assistant coaches he hired, the continued chaos on the sidelines (where no one, including the coaches, seem to know what to do or what is going on) and the lack of discipline of his players (that is the coaches fault) appears to me that "the inmates have taken over the prison".  It appears Thomas does not know how to cut his losses, good thing he isn't a trader.  His egocentric "I am right and everyone else is wrong" attitude is wrong for the Illini.  We need an experienced, big time college football coach who knows how to coach at this level, how to recruit blue chip athletes (not guys from Michigan that haven't been offered any  Division I scholarships EXCEPT from Illinois), how to choose and hire quality assistants, and finally, someone who has the guts to discipline his players when they do unacceptable things.  If Thomas doesn't replace Beckman, then we--the Illini Nation--should have Thomas replaced.  

CecilColeman wrote on October 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

Beat by a back up Freshman quarterback (from California........) and lost 22 pounds. (1) eat more lasagna; (2) stop chewing tobacco; (3) find a quarterback from California; (4) stop your belly aching.

Illini Drumline Guy wrote on October 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

Is this a new Diet Plan? If so, where do I sign up? I need to drop 20 pounds or so...I have followed Illini football since the 60s....and have many memories of 0-0 vs. Northwestern. watching  Bell from Iowa running all over the Illini...Eddie George running every where...the upper deck bathroons closed and locked for the last home game of the year due to poor attendance....and this is about as bad as I can remember.

Moonpie wrote on October 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Agreed--find a real QB and ditch Little Nathan. Find some speed. Find some actual talent. Use an offense your players can actually execute.

Find a defense. This one ain't there.

PeterE wrote on October 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

What we want to see is a experienced, confident, able coach that maybe is angry and fed up enough to jar this football team into the performance of their lifetime. Instead we hear from some whimpering self-absorbed clueless coach that has no answers; hasn't got a clue how to get the team to buy in or how to coach them. Between the lines Beckman is telling us he just doesn't know what to do. He says the same things after every loss, saying we need to get this and that fixed, need to stop turnovers, need better and more offense, need better defense, better tackling, better blocking, better everything. What he is really saying is he wishes he could provide better coaching to his players who to his knowledge are willing but confused. Beckman has no real answers, he is out of his league here at Illinois, in the Big Ten.

SwifferFan wrote on October 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

If you can't stand the heat......

fuddrules wrote on October 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

Illinois fans should know the key to success.  It has less to do with how much the head man in charge knows about football but how much his assistants know about football.  Find great assistant coaches that “click” at Illinois and do everything you can to keep them.  Illinois on the other hand runs them out of town or lets them go without a whimper.

The last DC they had did wonders.  He clicked with his players responded better than any defense Illinois had since the H boys played.

Illinois should have thrown everything they had at the DC to keep him.  Send his wife flowers, yearly pass to a spa, 10 round trip airplane tickets to the southeast.  They like it, go get it for them.  Get their best friends airplane tickets to Champaign.  Whatever it takes.

Beckman on the other hand hires newbies or retreads that have never proven themselves.  Hey, lets hire defensive guys who give up 30+ points a game.  There’s a winning ticket.

Beckman, you have no one to blame but yourself.  When you can’t, or don’t, hire very high quality assistant coaches, you lose.  Simple as that.

It’s crystal clear Illinois has crappy coaches.  There’s no discipline at all with this group, whether it’s their assignments or with penalties.  They stink.  That’s a reflection of crappy assistant coaches.

fuddrules wrote on October 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

I'd also like to add, that's exactly the reason why the cost of keeping/attracking high quality assistant coaches is skyrocketing.

Anymore, you have to play at least 500k to get a high quality coordinator.  Even more if you're in the SEC or wanting to lure a coordinator away from his current school

Illinos hasn't figured it out, which of course, is the norm at Illinois.  Always behind the times.

ernie70 wrote on October 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

I was at the game on Saturday. It appeared that none of the coaches knew what to do. It was confusing to everyone that was sitting in my section. Illinois had a chance to keep the Defensive Coordnator, who in my maind should have be named the head coach, instead of bringing in inexperienced coashes to a major school. What school does that? Only Illinois!! Everyone appeared in a fog.

Now we get to hear the coach talk about losing weight. Illinois needs to lose weight by getting rid of the new head coach before we become the laughing stock of big time football.


jjohnson wrote on October 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Guys, I know it is great to vent spleen, but let's be realistic. Ours is not a great coaching job, not when 40,000 fans crowd into a stadium built to (and once did) hold 71,000, and you are playing against Ohio State and Michigan with huge budgets, 100,000 seat stadia, and are two of the top 10 all-time programs -- and when the average tenure of a coach here over the past 52 years is what, 6 years? Think of the two best coaches we had: Mackovic, whose quitting apparently had to do as much with realizing how tough recruiting players to Illinois was going to be, and Mike White, who, with all due respect, was a much better recruiter in his earlier years at Illinois than he was as a coach -- as his last two seasons proved. Pete Elliott had some really great players, but aside from 1963 and our highest final ranking perhaps ever, did not really produce before the Slush Fund scandal did him in.

Which is not to say that we cannot do better, it is that getting what you want to call a top coach to Illinois is not going to be made easier by firing a coach after one or even two years. And forget this crap about MAC; Randy Walker and Bo Schembechler came from the MAC and did great things for their schools, and if Bo is ancient history, Walker is not.

I am as unimpressed with the offensive co-ordinators as anyone, but am equally unimpressed with the fact that they appear to have as their best quarterback a nice gutsy kid who simply is not in the right position on the field. Two years from now, their kid should be the QB. The defense really played much better Saturday, but the problem will be that next year we have to have a new front four, so "ouch." 

But the real point I want to make is that it is necessary to show that a coach does not come here at his peril but has a chance to build. Zook built in 3 years, but his first team was much worse than this team and no one blamed him; by the end of the 2nd year, it was clear that on defense at least, the program had turned.

Sorry, but we need to have some patience. Trust me, if we fired Beckman now, no decent coach who had an alternative would take the job without more money than Thomas could dream of throwing his way.

zyoungbl wrote on October 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Good points but more excuses.  We are tired of excuses.  This is the same school that arguably fathered the NFL (George Halas and Red Grange.) We deserve better and we need to keep demanding it.  No reason we can't compete on the same level as other schools in nation.  I believe the must act like the program you want to become.  Sticking with a sub-par coach just because he needs "more time" doesn't cut it.  Fire him and go for another coach.  If that one doesn't work, get another one and keep trying until you get a winner.  Enough mediocrity and waiting.  We deserve better. 

aaeismacgychel wrote on October 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Hmmmm... Well losing 22lbs will at least help with the shipping costs...

Oh, and this is my favorite Timmy B quote:

“You’re looking at some programs that have built some continuity, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” Beckman said. “You want it to happen fast, just like everybody does. You want to be successful as fast as you possibly can, but right now, we’re not. We’ve got to evaluate the things again that we’re doing and create things that can help our players be successful and this program be successful.”

The day we start looking at Indiana, a team that hadn't even won a single conference game in 2 years as a team we should start exemplifying is a day we should just get rid of the program. What a joke this coach and his staff is. Complete buffoons.

zyoungbl wrote on October 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Just go away Beckman.  You're not and never were wanted here.  Sorry to be so blunt but somebody's gotta say it. Save yourself and the program alot more grief and resign immediately. 

tonyjb37 wrote on October 31, 2012 at 6:10 am
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illinibri wrote on October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I work in a large suburban district of Chicago with very successful football programs.   Beckman and his staff have completely botched all recruiting since he has been at Illinois.   They are JOKE!  They have no idea how to run a big program.  He must go!   This is one frustrated alumni!!!!

illinibri wrote on October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I work in a large suburban district of Chicago with very successful football programs.   Beckman and his staff have completely botched all recruiting since he has been at Illinois.   They are JOKE!  They have no idea how to run a big program.  He must go!   This is one frustrated alumni!!!!