Dienhart: Koenning likely to leave Illini

Reports indicate that Illinois defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Vic Koenning is likely to leave.

Vic Koenning

US Presswire

New Illinois coach Tim Beckman offered Koenning the chance to stay on the staff, but he feels it’s best to move on. It’s too bad, because Koenning’s defenses were the one constant in a turbulent 2011 season that saw the Fighting Illini start 6-0 and finish 0-6. In the end, it cost Illinois coach Ron Zook his job in his seventh season in Champaign.

Koenning is considered one of the better defensive coordinators in the nation, having run defenses at Wyoming, Troy, Clemson and Kansas State. He also was head coach at Wyoming from 2000-02, going 5-29. Look for him to land on some staff.

Illinois finished No. 2 in the Big Ten in total defense in 2011 (291.8 ypg) and was fifth in scoring defense (20.1 ppg).

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for BTN.com. Find all of his work at www.btn.com/tomdienhart, follow Dienhart on Twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, send a question to his weekly mailbag here, and click here to subscribe to his RSS feed.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (2 Comments)
T on 12/13/2011 @ 7:34pm EDT Said:

Why didn’t they give him the job to begin with….
This new hire is going to haunt them…I promise you !!

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 12/16/2011 @ 1:27pm EDT Said:

    I get the feeling Vic didn’t think things would work in the long run, as he wanted to keep several of his defensive assistant. But it seemed like Beckman was gonna decide who would be the other defensive assistants around Koenning. No problem. Looks like Koenning is going to UNC, and I’m sure Beckman will make some good hires.