Vic Koenning is in a difficult position.
First, the interim Illinois coach said he wasn’t even sure he and his staff would stick around to coach in the bowl game – basically because he wanted to get out of Champaign if he found other work. Fair enough.
Now, he has been offered work – as defensive coordinator of the Illini.
And he’s just not sure:
Koenning has to consider the fate of the other three coaches on the defensive staff. Keith Gilmore, Ron West and Mike Gillhamer have combined with Koenning to produce the nation’s No. 7 defense.
“You all know me,” Koenning said. “I’m only as good as the staff. The success we had this year was because of us, the defensive staff and the players.
“Those guys deserve options and they deserve to stay if they want to, but that’s not my call.”
No, it isn’t. But it is his call if he stays on, now that it has been offered by new coach Tim Beckman.
“He said he’d like for me to stay,” Koenning said after Tuesday’s practice. “I don’t want to get into all the details, but there were provisions and parameters.
“There’s a lot of things to consider. He asked me if I can make the decision by Wednesday.”
So, what might he do?
Koenning said he has other offers. He mentioned openings at Auburn and Troy.
“Not as many as I’d hoped, but enough,” Koenning said. “It only takes one. It’s like finding a woman that you want to spend the rest of your life with, it only takes one. Usually.”
What will help him make a decision?
Koenning said he plans to talk to his wife Tracey and family before making a decision.
“Once upon a time I told my wife that she wasn’t going to tell me where I was going and that was the worst mistake I ever made,” Koenning said. “So we discuss things in great detail now.
“She’d like to be closer to her parents in Orange Beach, Alabama. But I know my kids are very happy here.”
That’s a tough position to be in, but it isn’t the worst thing that could happen – given the situation (new coach and all).