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Illinois sticking with Tim Beckman as coach, AD confirms

Tim Beckman

Tim Beckman

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Updated: January 4, 2014 6:33AM

CHAMPAIGN — There will be a Year 3 under Tim Beckman in Champaign.

In an interview Monday with local CBS affiliate WCIA, Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas confirmed that Beckman, who is 6-18 in two seasons as coach, will be back.

‘‘Tim Beckman will be coaching the team next year,’’ Thomas said.

This comes as no surprise, though Thomas declined to give Beckman his full support three weeks ago in an interview with the Sun-Times. Since then, the Illini ended their long Big Ten losing streak, beating Purdue in their next-to-last game. The team finished with four victories, twice as many as in 2012.

Next will come decisions on Beckman’s coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit confirmed to the Sun-Times that he fully intends to return. Defensive coordinator Tim Banks’ status is far murkier; there has been much speculation Beckman will seek a change at the top of his defense.

‘‘I would never discuss personnel or staff issues publicly, especially not while the season is still in progress,’’ Beckman told the Sun-Times last week.

Beckman, 48, has three years left on a five-year, $9  million contract.

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