Embattled ex-Illinois coach Tim Beckman is back on the coaching sidelines.
— IlliniHQ (@IlliniHQ) August 24, 2016
As reported on by Bob Asmussen of The News-Gazette, Beckman has been hired by North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora to be a volunteer assistant coach for the Tar Heels. While it’s a nondescript move in a vacuum, what gives this story some legs is the fact that North Carolina is scheduled to play at Illinois on September 10.
Suffice to say, there will be love lost if Beckman in fact makes the trip.
Beckman, 51, was unceremoniously fired a week before the 2015 season started after multiple reports surfaced that he was abusive toward his players. He left after he was given a one-time $250,000 settlement from the school. Beckman was replaced by interim coach Bill Cubit.
After Illinois endured a tumultuous 2015 campaign, the program is looking to move forward with a new chapter under new head coach Lovie Smith.
Illinois finished sixth in the Big Ten West Division last season with a 2-6 record (5-7 overall).
The Illini are set to open their season against Murray State at home on September 3.
Meanwhile, North Carolina is coming off a largely successful season in which it went 11-3 overall and 8-0 in ACC action, where it won the ACC Coastal Division before losing to Clemson in the ACC title game. The Tar Heels’ season ended with a loss to Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
The Tar Heels will open their 2016 season when they play Georgia in the Georgia Dome for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on September 3.