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Beckman will be back as Illinois coach in 2014

AP - Sports
Beckman will be back as Illinois coach in 2014
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FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2013 file photo, Illinois head coach Tim Beckman watches a replay during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Champaign, Ill. Illinois confirmed Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 that Beckman will be back for a third season in 2014. Speculation about the second-year head coach's job security followed him through much of the 4-8 season that ended with the Saturday, Nov. 30 loss to Northwestern. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes, File)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois says coach Tim Beckman will be back for a third season in 2014.

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Monday through a spokesman that Beckman will return. Thomas and Beckman plan to talk later this week about the football staff and other aspects of the program.

Speculation about Beckman's job security followed him through much of the 4-8 season that ended with Saturday's 37-34 loss to Northwestern. The Illini went 2-10 in his first year.

Beckman was traveling Monday and not available for comment. He is finishing the second year of a five-year contract.

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