Cincinnati's Tim Banks takes over Illinois defense
Tim Banks, who was co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati the last two seasons, has been hired as Illinois' new defensive coordinator, the school announced Wednesday.
``Tim Banks is a great fit,'' new Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. ``He led an outstanding defense at Central Michigan [in 2007-09] and made a great improvement at Cincinnati this past season. Tim and I worked together at Bowling Green and I consider him one of the brightest young coaches in the nation. Tim will run a very aggressive defensive system that will work very well with our personnel.''
Translation: Even though Whitney Mercilus, the nation's sack leader, won't return, Banks intends to keep looking for sack opportunities. And Illinois' returning personnel are well-suited to that approach.
Under Banks, Cincinnati, which ranked 39th nationally in run defense in 2010, improved to No. 6 last fall. Cincinnati led the nation in tackles for loss in 2011 after ranking 38th in 2010. It also ranked No. 2 in sacks last fall, up from No. 38 in 2010.
In 2009, Banks' defense at Central Michigan led the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, ranked second in rushing defense, third in pass efficiency defense and fourth in total defense. The Chippewas also led the MAC in rushing defense in both 2007 and 2008, and in sacks in 2008.
The hiring of Banks completes Beckman's staff. Here are the assistants and their assignments:
Tim Banks - defensive coordinator/safeties
Billy Gonzales - co-offensive coordinator/receivers
Chris Beatty - co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Luke Butkus - offensive line
Steve Clinkscale - cornerbacks
Keith Gilmore - defensive line
Alex Golesh - tight ends/specialists/recruiting coordinator
Tim Salem - running backs/special teams coordinator
Mike Ward - linebackers
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