Luke Butkus

Beckman adding a Butkus to Illini staff

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As his first Illinois coaching staff slowly begins to take shape, Tim Beckman is set to add a very familiar Illini name to his assistant roll call.

According to the Peoria Journal Star‘s John Supine, Beckman is expected to announce the hiring of Luke Butkus as his offensive line coach.  Supine wrote that an agreement has apparently been made between the two sides, and an announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Butkus, of course, is the nephew of college and NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, a two-time All-American linebacker at Illinois before embarking on an NFL career with the Chicago Bears.

Luke Butkus played for the Illini from 1997-2001, and is currently the quality control/offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks.  The former All-Big Ten lineman has spent the past five seasons at the NFL level after his first coaching stint, a two-year stop in Oregon (2005-06) as a grad assistant.

Mark Dantonio quickly tosses aside South Carolina discussion

Mark Dantonio

Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.

He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.

“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network

Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.

Dan Patrick: Spurrier brought personality to the SEC

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South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.

Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.