CHAMPAIGN -- A long search for a defensive coordinator at Illinois has ended with Tim Banks, according to published reports.

CHAMPAIGN -- A long search for a defensive coordinator at Illinois has ended with Tim Banks, according to published reports.

Banks, the co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, is expected to be named the leader of the Illini defense as early as Tuesday, after guiding a Bearcats defense that ranked No. 42 nationally last season. He will likely carry a co-coordinator title at Illinois, but Banks is expected to call the shots.

Illinois first offered the job to Vic Koenning, but the coach who led the Illini defense to a No. 7 ranking left for a similar position at North Carolina after serving as interim head coach in Illinois' win in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Jon Tenuta was announced as the defensive coordinator earlier this month, then abruptly decided to return to North Carolina State the following day.

Banks, 40, led a unit ranked sixth nationally in rushing defense, 20th in scoring defense and 99th in pass defense last season. Cincinnati led the nation in tackles for a loss and ranked second in sacks.

Prior to his two seasons at Cincinnati, Banks was co-defensive coordinator at Central Michigan, his alma mater. Under Banks, Central Michigan led the Mid-American Conference in total defense and ranked second against the run in 2009.

He also spent four seasons at Maryland and two apiece at Bowling Green and Memphis. As a position coach, he had experience working with inside linebackers and the secondary.

With Banks' hiring, the Illini will also announce defensive assignments. Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore is the lone holdover from coach Ron Zook's staff. Mike Ward and Steve Clinkscale have also been hired as defensive assistants.

John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnSupinie.