Posted March 04, 2012 on
Fighting Illini football coach Tim Beckman brought three of his Toledo assistants with him to Champaign. One of them is cornerback coach Steve Clinkscale. In part one of a three part interview, he talks about adjusting to his new job and general thoughts on his coaching philosophy and the need to develop depth in the spring.
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Many former Fighting Illini basketball players are joining fans in speaking out about the future of Bruce Weber at Illinois. Some are in favor of keeping him, and others believe the time has come for change. Stephen Bardo takes the latter approach in this interview.
Tim Beckman came to Illinois with a mandate to fix the Illini, starting with whatever broke during their six-game losing streak last fall.
The weakness that stuck out most, the new coach said, was one fans have complained about for years.
''Special teams were as bad as there was in this country, probably,'' Beckman said in an interview with The Associated Press...
The Fighting Illini continue to use their many connections in Ohio to recruit top prospects in that state. One of the latest to receive a scholarship offer from Illinois is Solon cornerback Darian Hicks. While the Illini may be fighting an uphill battle for his services, he plans to visit in March and is keeping an open mind.
Fighting Illini football coach Tim Beckman considered both coaching and recruiting ability when hiring his assistants. One of the best recruiters on staff is quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty. He is convinced he can recruit as well at Illinois as his other career stops. He talks about recruiting in the finale of his three-part interview.
Whatever hope the Fighting Illini had of upsetting Wisconsin in Madison Sunday was lost the first few minutes of the game. With the score 2-0, the Badgers went on a 12 point run, cooking the Illini's goose. Illini confidence has been shattered with their league collapse, so the quick rush by UW demoralized the visitors.
Some Fighting Illini fans have given up on the season, but Bruce Weber and his players say there is still plenty of reason to keep battling. They will be playing a first round game in the Big 10 tournament whether they win at Wisconsin Sunday or not. But the Illini still hold out hope for an NCAA tournament berth, or at least the NIT. Every win at this point is important.
The Fighting Illini secondary has upperclassmen starters but little depth. Cornerback coach Steve Clinkscale is excited about his veterans, and he believes three newcomer corners have great potential as well. He talks about personnel going into spring ball in part two of a three part interview.