Illinois football added a defensive coordinator but lost a fullback Wednesday. After announcing the transfer of fullback Jay Prosch to Auburn, the Illini named Tim Banks as defensive coordinator. Banks served as a co-coordinator at Cincinnati the past two seasons following three seasons in the same position at Central Michigan.
CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois football added a defensive coordinator but lost a fullback Wednesday.
After announcing the transfer of fullback Jay Prosch to Auburn, the Illini named Tim Banks as defensive coordinator. Banks served as a co-coordinator at Cincinnati the past two seasons after three seasons in the same position at Central Michigan.
"He led an outstanding defense at Central Michigan and made a great improvement at Cincinnati this past season,'' Illinois coach Tim Beckman said in a prepared statement. "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.''
Under his guidance, Cincinnati improved 33 spots in rushing defense to No. 6 nationally last season. In total defense, the Bearcats also jumped from No. 63 to No. 42.
Cincinnati led the nation in tackles for loss last season and ranked No. 2 in sacks. Previously, Banks served as a position coach at Maryland, Bowling Green and Memphis.
The Illini also finalized duties on the defensive staff. Keith Gilmore, the lone holdover from coach Ron Zook's staff, will remain with the defensive line while Mike Ward will work with linebackers and Steve Clinkscale will handle cornerbacks. Banks will also oversee the safeties.
Meanwhile, the transfer will allow Prosch to return closer to home and his ailing mother, Iris, who is battling brain cancer, while also putting Prosch in an offense that uses a fullback. He was named first-team All-America by Pro Football Weekly in December and an academic All-Big Ten. Prosch will transfer for the spring semester.
"He will have an opportunity to be much closer to his mother, who continues to face health issues,'' Beckman said. "We wish Jay the best as he makes this move.''
Prosch served primarily as a blocking back, getting two carries for nine yards in his career. He also was a valuable special teams player, sharing the team’s outstanding special teams player award for 2011. Prosch led the squad with 10 tackles this season and had 11 total tackles for the year.
In 2010, he helped pave the way for school single-season rushing record holder Mikel Leshoure and the Big Ten’s top rushing offense.
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Illini football coaching staff
Tim Beckman – head coach
Tim Banks – defensive coordinator/safeties
Billy Gonzales – co-offensive coordinator/receivers
Chris Beatty – co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Luke Butkus – offensive line
Steve Clinkscale - cornerbacks
Keith Gilmore – defensive line
Alex Golesh – tight ends/specialists/recruiting coordinator
Tim Salem – running backs/special teams coordinator
Mike Ward - linebackers