CHAMPAIGN — Illinois has zeroed in on Toledo football coach Tim Beckman in its search to replace Ron Zook and could introduce him as early as Friday, multiple sources told the Tribune on Thursday.
(Update: The school has scheduled a 4 p.m. EST news conference.)
David Haugh of the Trib seems to say everyone should give the new guy a chance – even if nobody has ever heard of him:
If Illinois announces the buzz-less hiring of no-name Beckman as early as Friday, it won’t force the university’s ticket office to add staff. It won’t excite big-money Illinois donors enough to reach for their checkbooks or Chief Illiniwek to want to come out of exile.
It might cause some alums to ask, “Holy Toledo, whose coach did we hire?”
But I don’t recall Sparty doing cartwheels when Michigan State hired Mark Dantonio in 2006. And it bears repeating that 2011 Big Ten coach of the year Brady Hoke didn’t exactly bring much more than mid-major head coaching experience and reputation with him to Michigan.
Everybody has to start somewhere, after all.