Jon Tenuta changed his mind. One day after he took over as Illinois defensive coordinator, Tenuta told Illini football coach Tim Beckman he would return to North Carolina State because of family reasons.
CHAMPAIGN -- Jon Tenuta changed his mind.
One day after he took over as Illinois defensive coordinator, Tenuta told Illini football coach Tim Beckman he would return to North Carolina State because of family reasons.
"I want to say that Illinois is a great program, and I think the world of Tim Beckman,” Tenuta said Wednesday in a statement released by the Illinois athletic department. "I’ve known (Beckman) for 20 years, and I have no doubt that with the staff he is putting together, he will have Illinois at the top of the Big Ten very soon.
"However, my family comes first, and I may have made a decision without fully thinking through the situation with them. My son is a senior in high school and has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at N.C. State, and it is something I just don’t want to miss.''
Tenuta left Tuesday night to recruit for Illinois but called Beckman on Wednesday morning with the news that he had a change of heart and was returning to Raleigh, N.C.
Illinois announced the hiring of Tenuta, offensive line coach Luke Butkus and offensive assistant Chris Beatty on Tuesday. Beckman previously hired recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh and defensive assistant Mike Ward from his staff at Toledo.
Beckman may fill the defensive coordinator position by later this week and has four openings overall. LSU wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales is the hot name for Illini offensive coordinator.
"I've known Jon for many years and was definitely looking forward to having him on our staff," Beckman said in a statement released through the university. "But we list family as one of our top priorities and part of the foundation of our program, and Coach Tenuta is putting his family at the forefront of this decision.
"I wish Jon nothing but the best, and I am quite confident we will continue to put together the best possible Fighting Illini football coaching staff."
Tenuta spent the last two seasons as linebackers coach at North Carolina State. A 31-year veteran of college coaching, Tenuta served as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Notre Dame in a two-year run that ended in 2009. He also worked as defensive coordinator during stints at Ohio State, North Carolina, SMU, Kansas State and Marshall.
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