Source: Illinois to hire Bill Cubit as OC

Illinois didn't take long to find its replacement for fired offensive coordinator Chris Beatty.

The team will name former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit as its new offensive coordinator, a source tells ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers. Cubit's name surfaced shortly after the news of Beatty's dismissal. I heard last week Cubit was weighing a Big Ten offer and another from a WAC school.

Cubit spent the past eight seasons at Western Michigan, compiling a 51-47 record that included three bowl appearances. WMU fired him after a 4-8 season this fall, the school's worst since 2004. Cubit was in the mix for the top job at Western Illinois before withdrawing his name.

He has plenty of experience as a playcaller, serving as offensive coordinator at Stanford (2003-04), Rutgers (2001-02), Missouri (2000) and Western Michigan (1997-99). Cubit takes over a unit that struggled mightily in 2012, finishing 119th nationally in both yards per game (296.7) and points per game (16.7). This looks like a pretty solid hire for Illinois, under the circumstances.

Illinois used two playcallers this past season in Beatty and Billy Gonzales, who remains on staff. But it's safe to assume Cubit will take the lead now as Illinois looks for a significant offensive upgrade in a make-or-break season for coach Tim Beckman.