CHAMPAIGN — Tim Beckman went after the career offensive leader in Illinois history to join his staff.
Nathan Scheelhaase said thanks but no thanks for a position of alumni and former player relations.
The man he overtook as the most prolific offensive player at Illinois, however, has said yes.
Juice Williams was hired on Monday to join Beckman’s staff.
“I’m sure he’ll be good at that,” Scheelhaase said.
The former Illinois quarterback, who amassed 10,594 yards of total offense and guided Illinois to the 2008 Rose Bowl, will reach out to alumni and former players in his new gig.
“He will now be in a position to help continue moving this program forward,” Beckman said in a statement. “Juice gained an immense amount of respect from his teammates and former players, and still has terrific relationships with high school coaches in the Chicago area.”
Williams will help assist with on-campus recruiting, coordinate the annual Illinois high school football coaches’ clinic that will take place in Champaign from April 10-12 and maintain relationships with the Block I, fraternities and sororities on campus.
Williams will be taking over the position vacated when Matt Sinclair resigned. The former Illini linebacker was charged with three counts of aggravated unlawful use of weapons and one count of unlawful use of weapons following a Nov. 23 incident.
Williams is set to arrive on campus Tuesday morning to begin his new job.
"The sooner I get there, the better," the 26-year-old Williams said. "This means quite a bit to me. I'm very dedicated to my alma mater. I have the opportunity to positively affect the program, whether that's with recruiting or from the alumni relations standpoint or even just being a mentor for the current guys we have on the roster. We've got guys coming in already for visits and coaches who need to get squared away for the convention, so I'll jump into it right away. I'm ready to get it going."