Change of Direction

Change of Direction

The Illinois offense will have a new leader in 2013, after it was announced co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty will not be retained.

CHAMPAIGN - Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chris Beatty will not be retained on the Illinois staff, the university announced via press release Saturday.

Changes on staff have been rumored since the end of the season, a year in which the Illini finished 2-10 with Tim Beckman in his inaugural season at the helm.

"Chris Beatty is an outstanding person and a good coach," Beckman said. "His family will always be a part our Illini football family. I wish him the best as he moves forward with his career." Beatty was the primary play-caller during Tim Beckman's inaugural season at the helm, in charge of a unit that struggled mightily.

The Illini averaged 16.7 points and 296.7 yards in total offense in 2012, ranking last in the Big Ten in both categories.

Injuries, inconsistency and the inability to establish an identity were commonly cited as the issues plaguing the unit throughout the season.

"You never get to a point where you're sitting back and doing the same things every week," Beatty said following a late-season loss to Minnesota. "Definitely it's hard for it to create a foundation to build every week when you're juggling the lineup, but that's an excuse and I don't believe in those either."

Beatty spent a season at Vanderbilt and three years at West Virginia prior to his stint at Illinois. His role on the Illini staff provided an initial opportunity as a coordinator and play caller. Beatty was also in charge of the quarterbacks, including starter Nathan Scheelhaase, who spent much of the season battling injuries. He finished the season with 1,361 yards, four passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. Backup Reilly O'Toole threw for six touchdowns with four picks.

It's unclear what role co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales, also in charge of wide receivers, will have in 2013. According to the press release from Illinois, "a national search for an offensive coordinator will begin immediately."

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