I have long espoused the notion that non-destination football (and basketball) schools serve themselves best when they hire young and comers in the coaching ranks to run their teams. This does a number of important positive things for a university. First and foremost, it assures the community that, in order for this coach to achieve his or her goals, he is going to have to establish (or maintain) a top-notch program.
From some schools, the University of Toledo included, there are several steps to the top of the heap for a coach. So if a coach is going to hit his zenith, then he is going to have to make some stops along the way. I've commented on this before. I think there are several "destination" schools in the country, personal history aside. In my estimation, they are
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
I'd hesitate slightly before throwing in Nebraska and Oklahoma, but certainly they are worthy of consideration as destination schools. Like I mentioned, this has nothing to do with the personal preference of any particular coach. Bob Stoops may desire to come back to Ohio some day, but I would think it is perfectly fine with all if he were to finish in Norman. As for the rest of the SEC, one need only look at what's happened to the coaches of the other schools in recent years. Les Miles name comes up frequently as replacing this or that guy. Saban ran around like a gypsy until he landed (it would seem) in Tuscaloosa.
So after that long introduction, let me get to the reason for the post. The thought is that those schools higher up the food chain from schools like the University of Toledo would feast on successful coaches. Logic then follows that the coach would have to display success on the field. Tim Beckman won exactly nothing while coaching for the University of Toledo for three years, not even a division championship. In the one game that could have potentially earned his Rockets a division crown, he pissed it away through his absolutely crappy coaching in the last three minutes of the game. Let it be said that his teams would have a hard time stopping a gang of orphans and nuns from scoring.
I am not sure exactly what Illinois thinks it's getting in Beckman. I can only hope for their sake that someone at UI-UC looked at the Kansas and Turner Gill love story from just two short years ago.