Sixteen signees join nine already on campus in 25-man Class of 2015
O'Toole Named Offensive MVP, Thomas III Defensive MVP; 17 Seniors Honored
Illinois Heading to Bowl Game for 18th Time in Program History
Beckman's Fighting Illini squad clinched bowl eligibility with a win at Northwestern on Saturday.
Come-from-behind win against Penn State keeps Illinois' hopes of reaching a bowl game alive.
Illinois vs. Iowa - November 15, 2014
Illinois at Wisconsin - October 11, 2014
Illinois vs. Purdue - October 4, 2014
Illinois vs. Texas State - September 20, 2014
Tim Beckman is in his third season leading the University of Illinois football program in 2014. He was named the 23rd Fighting Illini head football coach by director of athletics Mike Thomas on Dec. 9, 2011.
In 2014, Beckman led the Fighting Illini to bowl eligibility, earning the sixth, bowl-clinching win at in-state rival Northwestern on the final week of the season. Illinois has improved from two wins to four wins to six wins in his first three years as head coach.
Beckman helped the Illini double their win total in 2013 as the offense made dramatic improvements over 2012. Illinois's offensive unit jumped at least 50 spots in the national rankings from 2012 to 2013 in first downs, passing offense, long scrimmage plays, total offense, passing efficiency and scoring offense, with the biggest turnaround an 95-place jump in first downs per game.
Beckman's first Fighting lllini team produced four 2013 NFL Draft picks - OL Hugh Thornton (third round, Colts), DT Akeem Spence (fourth round, Buccaneers), DB Terry Hawthorne (fifth round, Steelers) and DE Michael Buchanan (seventh round, Patriots) - the most by any Big Ten team.
The Illini also have excelled in the classroom under Beckman's leadership. Twenty-one players earned degrees in 2014 after 16 did so in 2013 and 15 in 2012. For four consecutive semesters at least 40 football student-athletes have posted at least a 3.0 grade-point-average: 42 in fall 2012, a program-record 51 in spring 2013, 43 in Fall 2013 and 41 in Spring 2014. The Illini also have been active in the community, hosting free weekly youth clinics during the season and making regular visits to local schools and hospitals throughout the year. Prior to Illinois, Beckman spent three years as head coach at Toledo, where he led the Rockets to two bowl appearances and a Mid-American Conference West Division co-championship.
Beckman engineered an impressive turnaround at Toledo in his three years at the helm after inheriting a team that went 3-9 in 2008. The Rockets improved to 5-7 in 2009 before going 8-5 with a 7-1 record in the MAC and a berth in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2010. Toledo posted an 8-4 record in 2011, including another 7-1 MAC record, a share of the MAC West Division title and a berth in the Military Bowl. In the last two seasons, Beckman compiled a 14-2 record in MAC games, second best in the conference over that span.
He has learned under some of the finest coaches in America, including Pat Dye, Urban Meyer, Mike Gundy and Jim Tressel. When he guided the Rockets to an 8-4 regular-season record and a bowl appearance in 2010, it was UT's first bowl since 2005. In addition, his last two recruiting classes at Toledo have been widely praised, earning a No. 1 ranking among MAC teams by Rivals.com in both seasons after landing two of the three four-star prospects signed by conference schools.
Beckman sent a pair of Toledo players to the NFL in defensive back Barry Church and receiver Stephen Williams in 2010. Three players earned first-team All-MAC honors in 2011, including Eric Page, who earned first-team honors as a receiver, kick returner and punt returner.
Before accepting Toledo's head coaching position, Beckman had 21 years of experience as an assistant coach. He served as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State (2007-08), the cornerbacks coach at Ohio State (2005-06), the defensive coordinator/assistant head coach at Bowling Green (1998-2004), the defensive coordinator at Elon (1996-97), the secondary coach/recruiting coordinator at Western Carolina (1990-95) and a graduate assistant at Auburn (1988-89).
Beckman's two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State were successful, as the Cowboys posted a 16-10 record, including a 9-4 mark in 2008 and an appearance in the Holiday Bowl. In 2007, the Cowboys went 7-6, including a win over Indiana in the Insight Bowl.
At Ohio State, Beckman mentored the Buckeye cornerbacks. During his stay at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were 22-3 and played in two BCS bowl games. Along the way, he coached six All-Big Ten defensive backs and five future NFL players. His final game as a coach with Ohio State was the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against Florida, where Beckman faced his former boss from his days at Bowling Green, Urban Meyer.
At Bowling Green, Beckman was a three-time nominee for the Frank Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation's top assistant coach. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2001, and College Football News named him one of the country's top defensive coordinators. During his stay at Bowling Green, the Falcons won two bowl games, a MAC East division title and finished ranked in the national polls in 2003. Beckman began his coaching career in 1988 as a graduate assistant at Auburn, where he earned his master's degree in education. His first full-time coaching job came at Western Carolina, where he coached the secondary and served as recruiting coordinator from 1990-95. Beckman then served as the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Elon College from 1996-97 before moving on to Bowling Green.
Beckman started his collegiate playing career at Kentucky but transferred to Findlay and excelled under Hall of Fame head coach Dick Strahm. A 1988 graduate of Findlay, Beckman majored in physical education and lettered in 1984 and 1985 on Oiler teams that qualified for the NAIA playoffs both seasons. Prior to that, he attended Forest Park High School in Beaumont, Texas, for two years before completing high school at Berea (Ohio) High School near Cleveland.
The son of longtime college and NFL coach Dave Beckman, Tim is a native of Berea, Ohio. He and his wife, Kim, also a Findlay graduate, have three children: Tyler, Lindsay and Alex. Tyler is a member of the Fighting Illini support staff, while Lindsay is a senior at Oklahoma State. Alex is a junior quarterback at Urbana High School.
NFL players coached by Tim Beckman
Updated July 2014