Tim Beckman Chosen to Lead Illini Football

Tim Beckman
Tim Beckman

Dec. 9, 2011

Watch Beckman's introductory press conference | Photos from Beckman's First Day

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tim Beckman was named the 23rd head football coach at the University of Illinois by director of athletics Mike Thomas Friday. Beckman comes to Illinois after 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.

"I am very excited to introduce Tim Beckman as the new head football coach at the University of Illinois," Thomas said. "He brings an impressive resume to Illinois and is highly regarded within the entire coaching community. Coach Beckman sold me on his vision for Illinois football throughout the interview process. He is a proven recruiter, has worked alongside some of the nation's top coaches, will have high standards for academic and athletic success, and is a great fit for the Fighting Illini."

"I certainly want to thank Mike Thomas, Chancellor Wise and President Hogan for this outstanding opportunity at the University of Illinois," Beckman said. "We will work tirelessly in building the football program to compete for Big Ten and national championships, and be a source of pride for Fighting Illini fans across the nation. We will recruit the very best student-athletes to represent the University and will work extremely hard to develop strong relationships within the state of Illinois."

"We're excited to welcome Tim Beckman into the Illinois family," Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise said. "He understands that excellence, in academics and athletics, is both a tradition and an expectation here. Coach Beckman's proven ability to help student athletes achieve great success on the field, in the classroom and after graduation established him as the clear choice to lead our football program."

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 this season, 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 has 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 since 2005. In addition, his last two recruiting classes have been widely praised, earning a No. 1 ranking among MAC teams by 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, and center Kevin Kowalski joined them in the NFL in 2011. Toledo also had three players earn 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 as 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.

Beckman is a native of Berea, Ohio. He and his wife, Kim, have three children: Tyler (20), Lindsay (18), and Alex (14). Tyler is a sophomore quarterback at the University of Findlay, while Lindsay is a freshman at Toledo.

Beckman Head Coaching Record

Year	School	Record	MAC	Highlights 
2009	Toledo	5-7 	3-5
2010	Toledo	8-5 	7-1 	Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
2011	Toledo	8-4	7-1 	MAC West Co-Champ/Military Bowl
Career  3 Years	21-16 	17-7 

Beckman's Coaching Experience

Year	School  	Position
2011-	Illinois	Head Coach
2009-11	Toledo  	Head Coach
2007-08	Oklahoma State	Defensive Coordinator
2005-06	Ohio State	Cornerbacks
1998-04	Bowling Green	Defensive Coordinator/Asst. Head Coach
1996-97	Elon    	Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
1990-95	W. Carolina	Secondary/Recruiting Coordinator
1988-89	Auburn  	Graduate Assistant

Bowl games participated in as a coach
2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
2007 Insight Bowl
2006 BCS National Championship Game
2005 Fiesta Bowl
2004 GMAC Bowl
2003 Motor City Bowl
1989 Hall of Fame
1988 Sugar Bowl

NFL players coached by Beckman
Kevin Kowalski, Toledo (Dallas Cowboys)
Barry Church, Toledo (Dallas Cowboys)
Stephen Williams, Toledo (Arizona Cardinals)
Tyler Everett, Ohio State (Dallas Cowboys)
Brandon Mitchell, Ohio State (Houston Texans)
Nate Salley, Ohio State (Carolina Panthers)
Donte Whitner, Ohio State (Buffalo Bills)
Donovan Woods, Oklahoma State (Pittsburgh)
Ashton Youboty, Ohio State (Buffalo Bills)

Playing career
University of Kentucky, 1983
University of Findlay, 1984-87

Bachelor's degree, physical education, University of Findlay, 1988
Master's degree, education, Auburn University, 1994

Personal information
Date of Birth: Jan. 19, 1965
Hometown: Berea, Ohio
Family: Wife: Kim; Children: Tyler (20), Lindsay (18) and Alex (14).