5 worst Illinois football coaching hires in program history

Throughout the history of the Illinois football program, we have hit some land mines when it comes to coaching hires.
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Tim Beckman - 2012-14

  • 12-25 overall
  • 32.4% win (6th worst)
  • 6-7 best season
  • 1 bowl appearance
  • 0 bowl wins

And now we get to the mountain top, or should I say the toilet bowl? This is the pinnacle of the bad coaching ranks. Illinois football has had a lot of losing, but when you mix losing with a terrible human being of a coach, that is when you get someone like Tim Beckman.

Illinois hired a new athletic director in 2011. Mike Thomas stepped into the role, and his ego got in the way. He made changes for the sake of making change. Thomas fired Ron Zook, who had taken Illinois to the Rose Bowl, was coming off a bowl game win, and had Illinois on track for another bowl game.

The decision-making of Thomas was clearly flawed, so it makes sense that he would hire Beckman as the next head coach.

After winning back-to-back bowl games, Beckman steps in and the first year at the helm, Illinois goes 2-10. The program never saw the AP Top 25, and his best season in Champaign came during his final year when Illinois went 6-6 and was trounced in a bowl game against Louisiana Tech.

In three seasons Beckman was at the helm, Illinois was 12-25 overall, which is a 32.4%-win rate. He registers with the No. 6 worst coaching record in program history. But what puts Beckman over the top isn’t his horrible coaching.

Beckman was fired a week before the start of the 2015 season. An investigation found that Beckman tried to influence medical decisions, and he was pressuring players to play despite them having injuries.

So, on top of being a bad coach with a record that is one of the worst in program history, Beckman also didn’t care about his players. He isn’t just a bad coach, but he is also a bad person. That notches the No. 1 spot on the worst coaches in the history of the Illinois football program.

Next. Top 10 NFL careers by an Illinois football player. Top 10 NFL careers by an Illinois football player. dark