AD: Beckman staying put

AD: Beckman staying put

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas put to rest rumors about Tim Beckman's job status during an interview with Steve Kelly and Loren Tate on WDWS 1400-AM.

Speaking on Tuesday's radio show, Thomas said Beckman will return to coach the Illini in 2013. Beckman's first season at Illinois did not go well, the Illini failing to win a Big Ten game in a 2-10 campaign.

In response to Chicago-based rumors, Thomas said, "Tim Beckman will be our football coach next year. And we need to make sure as a staff and program that we move the needle with the kind of things we need as an administration to help support and build the infrastructure to reach our goals on the field and off the field."

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LoyalIllini wrote on November 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I am hoping the delay in this announcement referencing just "next year" and lack of fan fare was meant as a clear signal to TB that he is on notice.

PeterE wrote on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

He's such an Mindless Idiot - Just like Carrey Character in 'Dumb and Dumber'

Thanks Mike Thomas for another year of his incompetence and embarrassing behavior.

Salt Life wrote on November 28, 2012 at 11:11 am
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Yuck. I can't bring myself to watch anymore football until that bozo is gone. run out of town. His ridiculous behavior on the sidelines is just embarrassing and he has to be one of the most incompetent head coaches in all of D-1 college football. Illinois Football has sunk to being a national laughingstock - punchline under Tim Beckman. Can't even stand the sight of him - he actually does look like a moronic clown.

aaeismacgychel wrote on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I wouldn't get my hopes up that that's the case LoyalIllini. The only messages that Mike Thomas could've sent to Tim Beckman were suspending him for a game for the self-admitted act of knowingly committing a secondary violation in front of a national television audience, or saying sternly "What's going on in this program and with your coaching staff is not acceptable. I expect to see some changes made by next week's game", or by simply giving him the pink slip now. Saying Beckman will be back next year is simply saying just that. After we go 1-11 or 0-12 next and the people really start coming for both Tim Beckman's and Mike Thomas' head then Thomas might reconsider. The chants aren't loud enough in his section of the palace for him to verbally shame himself for a terrible hire. Of course pretending that the citizens with the pitchforks and torches banging on the castle door aren't there is something that one should take at their own peril. By Mike Thomas' current path, he is putting all his eggs in the John Groce miraculous basketball season basket earning him some good will. I will say though that if Illinios wouldn't have made those last second shots against Hawaii or Gardner-Webb, those voices clamoring for Thomas' head would be much louder. He got lucky basketball has taken most fans' minds off of this football debacle so far.

JimOATSfan wrote on November 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Drats...hardly a logical conclusion by AD Thomas, as they moved backwards instead of forwards towards championships.

Really not much to look forward to next year or be excited about, considering the Illini got worse in every major category despite 85% +/- same players as last year.  The coaches aren't talented enough to show any sign of progress on offense, defense or special teams (except use your fastest players to return kicks.)

However, like most all Illini fans, I would be pleased to be proved wrong next year.

CecilColeman wrote on November 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

The fact that Thomas felt the need to go public with such an announcement - - 3 days after the season ended - - says it all.

Personally I'd rather go 7-6 with strange game day coaching decisions than go 2-10 with an ill prepared team and a coaching staff in quicksand.

aaeismacgychel wrote on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

He had to go public. There were heavy rumors that Beckman had coached his last game at Illinois. He really didn't have much of a choice in having to go public and say Beckman was returning. Had the rumors not gotten out of hand he likely wouldn't have said anything, but when the media is constantly calling you asking about the rumors and when the official announcement will be made, the worst thing you can do is keep saying "no comment". That's the main reason why we went from losing heartbreaking games in basketball last season to having a complete meltdown, losing all confidence and getting blown out nightly. All Thomas had to do was say, "Stop asking questions about Bruce Weber's future at Illinois. Let him do his job coaching. I have full faith in him and the players and yeah we lost a few heartbreakers recently, but we played hard and I think if we let Coach Weber do his job we'll have some success this season." That's all Mike Thomas had to say even if he was lying through his teeth. If things then still imploded like they did last you, you fire him at the end of the season, no questions asked and no problem. But Mike Thomas' actions last year were single-handedly aimed at getting Bruce Weber out and hiring "his coach". While there were a lot of people, coaches, and players responsible for our basketball team falling apart last year, I think he was by far the biggest. It was this same passive-aggressiveness that got rid of Vic Koenning and Jerrance Howard. Thomas knew full well what he was doing. What he didn't know was that Illini fans aren't dumb enough to be fooled by his shadow games.

IMAN wrote on November 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Well said, Magic.

dave1956 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

For the first time in my life this year i didnt listen to even 1 single play on either radio or tv. Sorry Brian and Kurt..
I wont listen again as long as Nathan is back again at QB completing those 3 yard swing passes on 3rd and ten.
We will be lucky to get 29,000 fans in the seats next year. Even if they give away free tickets on game day nobody will watch.
Its extremely and painfully obvious that Beckman is in way over his head. And we are stuck with him for a couple more years because nobody fires first year coachs no matter how completely.inept they are.

JohnUI82 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Southern Miss did.

griff507 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I guess I am the only one that finds Mr. Thomas' vote of confidence strange.

Last year, even when Zook had Illinois at 6-0, MT would not give Zooker a vote of confidence. Don't get me wrong, I was never a Zook fan. At the end of a 6-6 season (at the time), he fired Zook, because he didn't see any improvement in the team. Illinois deserved better.

Go forward to tonight, and now 2-10 gets Beckman another year? I guess MT must have seen improvement over the course of this year. God help us, we can't stand any more of the improvement that MT alone. Unless we are playing some high school teams next year this will turn into a 12 loss season, and at least a decade of losing football seasons. By the time MT and Beckman get through, Illinois will not recover for at least that long.

MT, there is not one thing that this football team did, that was better than last years team. Zook deserved to be fired after last season, no doubt, and Beckman deserved the same fate this year. As long as your keep Beckman, you will never fill Memorial Stadium. If yoo can get 25,000 people to pay to watch the sorry product that is Illinois football, I will be shocked.

IlliniNationsCapital wrote on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Man, I miss the Zooker. Great move firing the only coach in our history to win two straight bowl games.

JohnUI82 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

That says more about Illini football history and the plethora of crappy bowl games nowadays than it says about Zook. And BTW, he didn't win the second of those bowl games, Koenning did.

OKOMIS wrote on November 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Talk about idiots and clowns…. Zook and Weber HAD to go… PERIOD!! Whether Beckman was a mistake or not (and it sure seems he was) doesn’t change the fact Zook and Weber HAD to go… it’s pretty evident from the statement Thomas gave, Beckman is on a short leash ..( Tim Beckman will be our football coach next year).. certainly wasn’t a glowing endorsement….for 100 years the Big 10 went to 1 bowel game out of 7 total…. So comparing a bowel bid in 2010-2011 to a bowel bid in 1970 doesn’t make sense.. I doubt seriously Beckman was who Thomas targeted to replace Zook.. 20/20, if his 1st choice played him to get a better deal elsewhere, he should have made Koenning (at least on an interim basis) the head coach until someone capable was available or who knows???? he may well have turned out to be the right guy… I suspect there is a reason Koenning isn’t a head coach ANYWHERE considering his DC resume… I suspect he’s too blunt and honest and not willing to kiss ass and play politics… but in any event… Zook had to go!!

tonyjb37 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm
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Stupid Mikey, you are a couple olives short of a martini!!! 

Dan Bloeme wrote on November 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

The Beckman Clown Show is Back For Another Season



















OrlandoIllini wrote on November 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

At least Mike Thomas didn't say Tim Beckman would be the head coach ALL next year.

Is there a head coach anywhere with less control of his program and himself than Beckman? Is there a bonehead decision he has yet to make? Aside from Luke Butkus, it appears Beckman hired incompetent assistants yet he places many of them in a rotation for calling plays at pre-determined times during a possession. If that were a good concept, the NFL would be using it.

Beckman offended fans and embarrassed the Illini by setting up shop in Happy Valley to get one O-lineman who is not good enough to play a single down for the worst team in the conference. Chewing tobacco on national TV and getting multiple sidelines penalties has made him the laughing stock of the sport... especially getting knocked on his rump by an official during a play. His clock management is on a par with Zook's. There were multiple delay-of-game penalties this year because they didn't communicate the play to the QB in time. The only innovation on the field was being penalized for improper numbering of players.

A 2012 team that should have been at least as good as the 2011 team went into full collapse. A previously fine defense became uncoordinated and ineffective. The offense seemed to come from the playbooks of Jim Valek and Gary Moeller. Special teams often helped the opponent. Any high school coach could have done a better job. The two teams the Illini beat could have been beaten by several high school teams in the Orlando area. It is astounding that none of the players quit the team, and that none of the 2013 recruits have bailed on their verbal commitments... yet. What high school coach would recommend his players sign with Illinois? Reconfiguring assistants didn't save Zook's job; it won't save Beckman's. Whatever the price of replacing him may be, the cost of keeping him is far greater.

JDG613 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Man.....I wasn't necessarily on board with the thought that Beckman isn't a capable coach, but I have to admit, this is a pretty good presentation of that position.  Hard to argue with, unfortunately.....

Don't know that we've seen enough to tear up the contract, yet, but I also don't think UI fans should be comfortable with another poor year like this one.....

1 illinifan wrote on November 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

Dan, love your close up of Beckman on the sideline coaching! Lol, just awesome! It seems that Thomas is too concerned with appearences than taking care of the health of the football program. Very sad day for Illinois Football!

IMAN wrote on November 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

Mike Thomas is a disgrace to our University and should be fired immediately.  He has done nothing but make our fine University the laughing stock of college athletics.   Anyone who knows football knew that Beckman was not a major D1 coach....he should have had a big name coach lined up before firing Zook.

I won't spend much time on basketball and that mockery, but Izzo was right and the search to replace Weber was a huge embarrasment to our school (not commenting about Groce I think that he will be fine, the process is what stunk).

With the revenue we generate through the BTN contract ($25MM this year and estimated to be $43MM per in a few years) we should be taking advantage of that huge advantage over other conferences and buying the best coach money can buy.   Yes, a great coach will come to chamabana, and we can win in chambana (huge alumni base that gives generously and prime location with chicago, indy, Stl and other talent bases near by).      Instead of taking advantage this guy went on the cheap and hired a JV coach for a big league position.    

Retaining Thomas & Beckman will set our program back years.   As several others have said, the program was not in great shape but it was mediocre and needed to go to the good level (not claiming we were going to BCS contenders immediately).  Recruits are not going to keep their commitment to play for a disgrace of a coach and team.    Fans are going to run from Memorial Stadium, not to it like they should be.   Merchandising revenue will go in the toilet and local businesses are going to suffer becuase when nobody comes to football games there are hundreds of hotel rooms unsold and thousands of drinks and meals at restaurants and bars not sold.

Very poor decision to hire Beckman, and Thomas compounded his poor decision by keeping Beckman.   As a manager you get three strikes and this was Thomas' 3rd strike (football and basketball serch embarrasment, dumb enough to hire Beckman, and retaining Beckman when it is 100% obvious that he isn't up to the job).  

Fire Thomas now and get a real AD.  Remember Mr Thomas, we evaluate your performance too, just like you evaluated Zook and Weber.    You sir are a disgrace to my university for firing Weber in the middle of last season, and for your poor performance in general.



Bwp 5P wrote on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

I don't remember MT firing BW in the "middle of last season"?

So.....even if he did, you can't have it both ways........leave a guy in place that struggles, or let him go immediately?

I think the football season was an absolute train wreck, just like everyone else on here, BUT......I also think the guy needs more than one season to prove himself. There is no "app" for instant success, despite what our current society wants!

As far as the Hoopsters.......I think BW had lost the team. His "micro-management" style didn't fit with these players. Agree that these are the players he recruited, but their skill set doesn't lend itself to being in THE exact spot at THE exact time.

As frustrating as it is........I think we have to wait and see if there's any improvement in next years F'Ball team. Then if MT pulls the trigger in mid-season.......will you praise him for being proactive, or chastise him for doing it during the season?


aaeismacgychel wrote on November 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I have to say that I'm with Iman on this one. After the meltdown and freefall of last year's basketball team, sure Weber had to go and yes he lost his team. But that said, Illinois was doing alright and being competitive in every single game before Mike Thomeas went on the radio and refused to show Weber any confidence which was as effective as a no vote of confidence. As the AD, it is his job to show support for the coach, request the coach to make changes to the staff, or get rid of him. Those are his lone choices when going on a radio show. That's like AD101. He purposely used passive-aggression to sink the season and bring in a new coach. He did the same to get rid of Howard and Koenning. And then the media circus that ensued where BOT members were saying they won't accept the hiring of a non-African American, followed by Mike Thomas not telling them to shut the hell up and that the color of the candidate's skin will have no part in the hiring process. And then Mike Thomas shooting for stars in both football and basketball in terms of hires (Sumlin and Smart) which was fine, but having no backup plan, and not getting a verbal nod from a coach Thomas wanted before firing Weber or Zook was amateurish at best. Mind you, I'm not saying Guenther was great by any means, but I cannot say that I am a fan of the moves Mike Thomas has made in his brief time at Illinois and I see him as big and possibly the biggest part of the problem as to why our basketball and football teams both imploded over the past year.

Illini1973 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 8:11 am
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If you thought this was a long year, next year will be a very, very long year.

Moonpie wrote on November 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

Doesn't sound like Thomas gave a very sturdy vote of confidence in him. And clearly he had a very rough year. I oppose firing a coach after one year. If Lovie Dovie Smith somehow keeps his job with the Bears, then Beckman deserves at the very least another year to show progress. I suspect winning most of the non-conference sked next year and a few conference games is the bar he must get up to to stay around. So, six or seven wins, I guess. That would seem promising compared to this season. The jury seems out on whether Beckman is anything higher than MAC level. 

DaisyJ wrote on November 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

If he keeps his job at 2 and 10, what would it take to lose it. This is a mistake, he is flakey and should have been booted out with all his coaches.

Speakerman11 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

As a resident of Champaign, I truly wish this local economy experienced the success of those such as South Bend Indiana, Madison Wisconsin, Columbus Ohio, Gainesville Florida or even Ann Arbor Michigan on game day and even game weekend for that matter.  Remember the excitement of the 2005 Basketball team.......thats what we need football to be!!!  Football is the fuel that drives the bus and basketball is just the tires.  As long as Illinois has the sally-fair weathered football fans that you have, there isnt going to be any excitement here locally on Saturdays in the fall.  There should be Illinois State Police directing traffic on Mattis, Prospect and Neil, Kirby and Windsor every home game.  I dont blame Illini fans for their mediocre attendance to the games.  Illinois football is an absolute embarrasment.  Who lets Northwestern put up 50 points?!?!?  You as fans MUST DEMAND RESULTS and HOLD ACCOUNTABLE those individuals making decisions.  And they must WANT and EXPECT success.  MT should be receiving 300 voicemails a day from football fans demanding an explanation. 

There is a trend for football coaches that has been established here at the U of I the past 20 years....its a graveyard. Worrying about appealing to the Chicago population shouldnt really be a top priority.  Chicago fans will make the 3 hour trip when we start winning some darn games.  Just like downstate fans do when the Bulls/Hawks/Cubs/Sox are WINNING!!!  Spend some freakin money and bring in a coach who has a history of success at a few schools.  When competiting B1G football coaches acknowledge a succesfull coaching search (Thad Matta --> John Groce), then you will know you're in good hands.  Until then....peace be with you all...and....


82sage wrote on November 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

   I do not believe Mike Thomas had any other realistic choice at this point to make the statement just as he did. He had extreme difficulty in attempting to get his first and even second choice for head fb coach to come here, as a matter of fact he failed in doing so. If he were to fire TB after one year that adds to that difficulty. Nobody is going to want to come here knowing they will not be given more than one year to prove themselves. He did not say anything beyond next year. Obviously there will be and should be changes made to the staff. He seems to at this time done a fine job in hiring bb coaches. MT wants to be successful! He has a history of doing well. He will right the ship perhaps not any time soon in fb but he will make the necessary decisions when the time is correct. He will not keep people way beyond the time span in which he should as history has been in fb coaches. I understand the frustration, this team was WAY below expectations. With 8 returning starters on one side and 7 on the other we should have been much better. I am NOT defending TB! There is just no way firing him after one year is a realistic option. We are not an SEC school. Face it we are not among the top programs in the country and havent been for a few years. Seven and six doesn't seem bad at all from this perspective huh? Be careful what you ask for you may get it...