Thursday, January 10, 2013
Illini assistant Luke Butkus leaving for FIU
By Adam Rittenberg
Illinois' offensive staff will have a fairly different look in 2013 after the unit finished 119th out of 120 FBS teams this past season.
We already know Illinois didn't retain offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chris Beatty and is expected to name former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit as his replacement. Illinois also will have a new offensive line coach as Luke Butkus reportedly is leaving the program to join Florida International. FootballScoop first reported Butkus' move to FIU.
Why would Butkus leave a Big Ten program for one in the Sun Belt? He played center for new FIU coach Ron Turner at Illinois and reportedly will be run game coordinator at the school. He also could be seeing the writing on the wall as head coach Tim Beckman enters a make-or-break 2013 season in Champaign. Illinois' offensive line struggled this season, as the Illini ranked 97th nationally in rush offense and 111th nationally in sacks allowed. Butkus, the nephew of Illini great Dick Butkus, joined Beckman following five years as a low-level assistant in the NFL.
It'll be interesting to see where Illinois turns for this hire and whether any more changes are coming for 2013. Cubit's hiring is expected to be announced next week. I heard in late November that Illinois would have at least two new assistants for 2013 (Butkus was one of the names mentioned).