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Beckman receives vote of confidence from AD Thomas

Illinois%27+Earnest+Thomas+III+carries+the+Land+of+Lincoln+trophy+after+the+game+against+Northwestern+at+Ryan+Field+in+Evanston%2C+Ill.+on+Saturday.+The+Illini+won+47-33.
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Beckman receives vote of confidence from AD Thomas

Illinois' Earnest Thomas III carries the Land of Lincoln trophy after the game against Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Illini won 47-33.

Illinois' Earnest Thomas III carries the Land of Lincoln trophy after the game against Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Illini won 47-33.

Illinois' Earnest Thomas III carries the Land of Lincoln trophy after the game against Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Illini won 47-33.

Illinois' Earnest Thomas III carries the Land of Lincoln trophy after the game against Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Illini won 47-33.

By Daily Illini Staff Report

With Saturday’s 47-33 win over rival Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois football became bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. Illinois (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) is likely heading to either the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit or the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas. Both games are Dec. 26. 

Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas also announced Sunday that head coach Tim Beckman would return for the 2015 season. 

The bowl appearance will be the team’s first under Beckman after a 2-10 season in 2012 and a 4-8 season last year.

“Our student-athletes have played their best football of the season down the stretch of a tough schedule that included nine bowl-eligible opponents,” Thomas said in a press release from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. “It’s my expectation that with the upcoming bowl and another off-season of development, that Tim’s continued leadership will keep Fighting Illini football moving forward and even more competitive in the conference and nationally.”

Illinois beat Penn State and Northwestern in consecutive weeks to end the season, qualifying for the postseason with the win over the Wildcats on Saturday. It was Beckman’s first victory in the Illini’s rivalry game with Northwestern.

Beckman will make $1.9 million next season. He is under contract for two more seasons. There was no mention of a contract extension in the DIA’s press release. There was also no mention of any coaching changes among Beckman’s assistants. 

“This is all about our team and the seniors who are our leaders,” Beckman said Sunday. “We all understand that this is a work in progress and that we need to continue moving forward in a positive way. I’m very proud of our six wins so far this season and the toughness we showed down the stretch.”

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