CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Bill Cubit on Friday confirmed a sweeping series of changes to his staff, including the departure of co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
Cubit said co-defensive coordinator Mike Phair will run the unit himself next season.READ MORE: State Rep. LaShawn Ford Introduces Legislation To Increase Equity In Illinois Cannabis Industry
Cubit also said his son, Ryan Cubit, has been promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. Bill Cubit had been the coordinator before becoming interim head coach when Tim Beckman was fired in August.
“I feel extremely confident in both Mike and Ryan as coordinators,” said Bill Cubit, whose team finished 5-7 in his first season as head coach. “Ryan was basically the offensive coordinator this past season as we worked very closely on the offensive game plan during the week.”
“Mike brought a high level of energy and expertise to this staff and I was very impressed while watching him operate,” Cubit added.
Banks was the last member of Beckman’s original staff from the 2012 season. The defenses his first three seasons at Illinois were among the worst in the Big Ten, but Illinois improved this year. Phair joined the staff for the 2015 season. Cubit did not say where Banks was going after four years with the Illini.
Illinois also confirmed it has added two new assistants.READ MORE: Remembering Hazel Johnson, Chicago’s ‘Mother Of Environmental Justice,’ On Earth Day 10 Years After Her Passing
Former Illini quarterback Jeff Hecklinski was named tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, replacing Alex Golesh, who left for a job at Iowa State. Hecklinski was an assistant at Colorado State-Pueblo this year after spending four seasons at Michigan.
Former Illinois offensive line coach A.J. Ricker returns to that job after two years at Missouri. He replaces Tom Brattan, who was fired after two seasons.
Nathan Scheelhaase will be the running backs coach on a permanent basis after handling the job this season as an interim assistant following Beckman’s exit.
Beckman was fired a week before the season opener after an investigation by a law firm hired by the school found he interfered in medical decisions and pressured players to play hurt. He has denied wrongdoing.
Cubit became the permanent head coach in November, but was given only a two-year contract while the school searches for a new athletic director and chancellor. Most new head coaches get four-year deals considered important to demonstrate stability for recruiting.MORE NEWS: Federal Rescue Plan Is Supposed To Keep Unemployment Benefits Going, But Many Say They're Being Held Up In Illinois
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.