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Article updated: 1/7/2013 11:01 AM

Reports: Ousted WMU coach to direct Illini offense


Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman has turned to the Mid-American Conference for help in resurrecting the Illini offensive attack, according to an ESPN.com report.

ESPN writer Scott Powers, citing unnamed sources, reports that Beckman has hired former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit to be his new offensive coordinator.

Cubit was fired from Western Michigan in November after eight seasons and was replaced by former NIU and Kaneland football star P.J. Fleck.

While Cubit finished his WMU career with a 51-47 overall, he made made three bowl appearances with the high-scoring Broncos. According to the ESPN report, Western Michigan averaged 29 points a game during Cubit's eight years. One of those games was a 66-63 loss in 2011 to Toledo, which was coached by Beckman.

On Saturday, Beckman announced that he fired co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty after the Illini struggled to a 2-10 finish and offensively was among the worst in the Big Ten. The Illini were last in points per game at 16.7 and last in total offense at 296.7 yards a game.

Beatty came to Illinois from Vanderbilt and split the coordinator duties with Billy Gonzales. According to some reports, Gonzales will be reassigned to work with receivers.

Although Illinois defeated WMU 24-7 in the season opener, WMU played much better in losses to four bowl teams: Minnesota (28-23), Ball State (30-24 OT), Kent State (41-24) and Northern Illinois (48-34). Western Michigan defeated Central Michigan (42-31), which was one of seven MAC schools to play in bowl games this season.

Powers was the first to report Cubit's hiring, and Big Ten analyst Howard Griffin was the first to report Beatty's firing.

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