Beckman Adds Three Coaches to Illini Staff
Jan. 3, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman added three coaches to his first staff on Tuesday, announcing the hiring of Chris Beatty, Luke Butkus and Jon Tenuta. The trio brings 44 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, including 17 years as coordinators. The trio joins Keith Gilmore, Alex Golesh and Mike Ward on Beckman's staff, meaning three coaching spots remain to be filled.
"I am pleased to announce the additions of Chris Beatty, Luke Butkus and Jon Tenuta to the Fighting Illini coaching staff," Beckman said. "John is considered one of the top defensive coaches in the nation and has a world of great experience that he will bring to Illinois. Chris is thought of as one of the top young coaches in the nation, especially as a recruiter. Luke obviously brings one of the great names in the history of football and the University of Illinois back to our program. He was a terrific player for the Illini and has worked very hard in the coaching profession to put himself in this position. Not only are all three of these men excellent coaches, they are outstanding individuals who will fit in extremely well here. All three will begin recruiting immediately as we look toward the national signing day on Feb. 1."
Beatty comes to Illinois from Vanderbilt, where he helped the Commodores to an appearance in the 2011 Liberty Bowl as wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator. Prior to his time at VU, Beatty spent three seasons at West Virginia as running backs/slot receivers coach and director of recruiting. He helped guide the Mountaineers to a Big East co-championship in 2010 and appearances in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl, the 2010 Gator Bowl and the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl. He also spent one year as running backs coach at Northern Illinois in 2007 and the 2006 season at Hampton University, where he served as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and receivers coach. That season, he led the Pirates to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs.
Butkus has spent the past five seasons in the NFL, the last two with the Seattle Seahawks as a quality control assistant working with the offensive line. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant offensive line coach for three seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2007-09. Butkus began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the University of Oregon from 2005-06, helping the Ducks to an appearance in the 2005 Holiday Bowl and the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl. A three-year starting center at Illinois from 1999-2001, Butkus was a two-time All-Big Ten selection in 2000 and 2001. He helped lead the Illini to a win in the 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl and a Big Ten title and appearance in the Sugar Bowl in 2001, anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for then-school records in total points, points per game and sacks allowed.
Tenuta, a 31-year veteran of collegiate coaching, comes to Illinois after coaching linebackers at North Carolina State the past two seasons. He helped guide the Wolfpack to a victory in the 2011 Belk Bowl and a win in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl, and contributed to an impressive defensive turnaround that keyed N.C. State's six wins in its last eight games. He also mentored 2011 Butkus Award semifinalist Audie Cole and second-team All-ACC selection Terrell Manning. Prior to his time with the Wolfpack, Tenuta spent two years as assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Notre Dame, and served as defensive coordinator in 2009. He was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Georgia Tech from 2002-07, with Tenuta's defense ranking in the top 30 nationally in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense in his last five years in Atlanta. He was North Carolina's defensive coordinator in 2001, guiding the ACC's top-rated defense and sending Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims to the NFL as two of the first three defensive players selected in the 2002 NFL Draft. Tenuta was at Ohio State from 1996-2000, coaching the defensive backs for the first four seasons and serving as the defensive coordinator in 2000. He developed numerous Buckeyes into NFL players, including first-round draft picks Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Ahmed Plummer and Nate Clements. Tenuta also spent time at Oklahoma (1995), SMU (1989-94), Kansas State (1988), Marshall (1986-87) and Vanderbilt (1984-85), serving as defensive coordinator at SMU, KSU and Marshall.
Jan. 4 Update on Tenuta: Tenuta Changes Mind; Will Remain at N.C. State
Illinois Football Coaching Staff (as of Jan. 3, 2012)