10 Potential Candidates To Replace Tim Beckman At Illinois

With less than a week until the start of the college football season, the Illinois Fighting Illini fired head coach Tim Beckman. The former head coach was dismissed after an investigation showed he was abusing his players. Beckman won't be paid the rest of his contract either. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will take the reins as interim head coach. If there is a positive to this situation for Illinois, it's that the school will have a big jump on finding a new head coach. The early start will make it easier to find and hire a coach. With a prime location for recruiting, the right coach can win at Illinois. 

Honorable Mention: Bill Cubit, Illinois Interim HC

Cubit is in a difficult spot. He likely won't end up with the job full-time, but if he can find a way to get Illinois to a bowl game, then he'll force his way into the discussion. 

10. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois HC

Carey has won 23 games in his two seasons at Northern Illinois. The Huskies have been churning out Power 5 coaches in recent seasons and Carey could be next. He's an Indiana graduate, which might make him a better candidate for the Hoosiers if that job becomes available. 

9. Brady Hoke, Former Michigan HC

Hoke is a great recruiter and won at both Ball State and San Diego State. He wasn't the right fit for Michigan, but can still be an effective college football coach. Illinois has a good recruiting base to tap into and Hoke can do that. 

8. D.J. Durkin, Michigan DC

Durkin had success coaching defenses at Florida and he should improve as a coach under Jim Harbaugh. Durkin will be a head coach at some point soon, potentially in the Mid-American Conference.

7. Luke Fickell, Ohio State DC

Fickell's name seems to come up every time a job of this stature is available. That shouldn't change with Illinois. However, Fickell has spent most of his career at Ohio State and might not want to leave for another Big Ten school.

6. Ed Warinner, Ohio State OC

He's taking over for Tom Herman and should see his stock rise this season. Ohio State's offense is going to be incredible, which will help Warinner.

5. Matt Campbell, Toledo HC

Campbell has done well since taking over for Beckman at Toledo. Given the issues with Beckman, Illinois might be hesitant to hire another Toledo coach. 

4. Chuck Martin, Miami (OH) HC

Martin is a former Notre Dame offensive coordinator currently running the rebuilding project at Miami (Ohio). Martin took over at Grand Valley State when current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly left, going 74-7. He wants to make Miami the "Cradle of Coaches" again. Tt will take a lot to get him to leave right now.

3. Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky HC

Brohm's offense last season at Western Kentucky was impressive. If WKU has another big season, and it should, Brohm's name will pop up for plenty of jobs. He was the QB coach for a season under Ron Zook at Illinois, so he has knowledge of the area. 

2. Dino Babers, Bowling Green HC

Babers has never coached in the same place for longer than four seasons, something fairly common among coaches. He's been everywhere, from Hawaii (where he played) to Baylor (as an assistant) to Eastern Illinois (as a head coach) and now to Bowling Green. He's had success everywhere and will have the chance to leave Bowling Green for a bigger job soon. 

1. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan HC

At only 34, Fleck appears to be the next big thing in coaching. He'd be a wonderful fit at Illinois. He played at Northern Illinois and is an incredible recruiter. He'd take advantage of Illinois' great location. He flipped Western from a 1-11 team to an 8-5 one in a year. Plenty of teams want Fleck. However, he enjoys Western Michigan and won't leave unless a great offer comes down the pipeline. Fleck could be Illinois' top target, but it might not be able to woo him.

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Related Topics: Head Coach Rumors, Illinois Rumors, Illinois Fighting Illini, Illinois Football