Indications point to Illinois closing on Toledo coach Tim Beckman to fill the vacant football coaching position, according to a source close to the university's board of trustees.
CHAMPAIGN -- Indications point to Illinois closing on Toledo coach Tim Beckman to fill the vacant football coaching position, according to a source close to the university's board of trustees.
After Houston's Kevin Sumlin fell off the radar with the Illini, the school extended the search one more day, and Beckman became the focus.
Another source said Illinois was lining up details to introduce Beckman on Friday.
Illinois fired Ron Zook on Nov. 27, and athletic director Mike Thomas apparently followed a path where he has experience. As Cincinnati AD, he twice hired head football coaches from the Mid-American Conference.
Beckman, 46, canceled a press conference Thursday afternoon, where he was planned to talk about the team's game against Air Force in the Military Bowl. The Rockets lost 66-63 to Northern Illinois this season, a defeat that cost Toledo a MAC division championship, but Toledo also had a 27-22 loss at Ohio State.
The Oklahoma State defensive coordinator in 2007-08, Beckman is 21-16 in three seasons at Toledo with a 16-6 record in the MAC. Over the past two seasons, he was 14-2 in the league.
Beckman makes roughly $400,000 per season, and Illinois is expected to pay close to the $1.75 million salary given to Zook.
Beckman also served as an assistant at Ohio State, Bowling Green, Elon and Western Carolina.
John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnSupinie.