Tim Banks to head Illinois' defense

Updated: January 18, 2012, 1:36 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Illinois has named Tim Banks as its defensive coordinator, rounding out the staff for new coach Tim Beckman.

Banks comes to Illinois from Cincinnati, where he spent the past two seasons as the Bearcats' co-defensive coordinator. He previously served as co-defensive coordinator at Central Michigan.

In 2011, Cincinnati's defense ranked sixth nationally in rushing and 42nd in total defense. The Bearcats led the nation in tackles for loss (111.5) and were ranked second in sacks (45).

Beckman and Banks coached together at Bowling Green in 1999 and 2000.

"Tim Banks is a great fit for the University of Illinois," Beckman said in a statement. "He led an outstanding defense at Central Michigan 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."

Banks' appointment completes Illinois' coaching staff, and Beckman on Wednesday announced staff assignments for the defensive assistants.

Banks will work with the safeties in addition to his coordinator duties. Steve Clinkscale will coach cornerbacks; Mike Ward will coach linebackers; and Keith Gilmore, the lone holdover from Ron Zook's staff, will continue to work with the defensive line.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com

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