NORMAL — Anthony Beane and his son, Anthony Jr., will still have a coach-player relationship in college. It just will be a bit farther south than originally planned.
An assistant coach at Illinois State the past five years, Beane was hired Friday as an assistant at Missouri Valley Conference rival Southern Illinois under new head coach Barry Hinson.
Meanwhile, Normal Community High School star Anthony Jr. was granted his release from his national letter of intent by ISU, paving the way for him to follow his father to Southern Illinois.
The elder Beane said Hinson, former head coach at Missouri State, called and offered him a position on his staff shortly after ISU head coach Tim Jankovich left in late April to become associate head coach/coach in-waiting under Larry Brown at Southern Methodist.
“With so many things up in the air at the time, he really didn’t put any pressure on me,” Beane said. “He just let me know he’d love to have me on the staff and to take my time with it.
“I was dealing with some other options at the time, but as time went on my family and I talked about it and prayed about it and this is the direction the Good Lord sent us. We’re real excited about it.”
Beane said he talked throughout last week with Jankovich’s successor, former Redbird standout Dan Muller, but that by early this week Hinson needed a decision.
“Coach Hinson had been patient, but I had to let him know. It was real obvious for me that for my family and I, this would be a great move,” Beane said. “Dan (Muller) is a great guy and will do great things here.”
Beane said the downside for him and his family, which also includes his wife, Katina, and a seventh-grade son, Darius, is leaving ISU, the community and the Redbird players.
“Illinois State and the town of Normal have been real good to me and my family,” Beane said. “Every minute and every second have been wonderful.
“It’s going to be tough playing against those guys (the current players). I’ll be cheering for them and hoping they win every game in the conference except two.”
This was Beane’s second stint at ISU. He also was an assistant from 2000-2002 under Tom Richardson. He spent four years as an assistant at Saint Louis University before returning to ISU in 2007.
Beane Jr., a 6-foot-1 guard, signed with ISU on Nov. 9. He was the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year the past two seasons and The Pantagraph Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
He led NCHS to fourth place in the Class 4A State Tournament as a junior and to back-to-back Big 12 titles.
“I know he’s really excited about the opportunity (at SIU),” his father said. “But it’s a little tough for him, too.
“He went to high school here for four years and his high school coaches … he’s really close to those guys. He got to know the guys on the (current ISU) team as well.”
Beane Sr. said he is grateful to ISU for granting his son a release knowing he likely was headed to another Missouri Valley school.
“(Athletic director) Gary Friedman and the administration at Illinois State have been first class about everything,” Beane said.
“That’s another thing that makes it hard to walk away because you’re walking away from good people.”
Hinson said he was “extremely pleased” to add Beane, adding, “He's a veteran coach who is familiar with the Missouri Valley Conference, and he's a strong recruiter who can help us in St. Louis and Chicago.”
ISU associate athletic director Todd Kober reiterated Friday that Dana Ford, a Wichita State assistant coach and former Redbird player, and Rob Judson, an assistant to Jankovich who was a candidate for the head coaching job, have been offered assistant coaching positions but that “those details are still being worked out.”
The Wichita Eagle newspaper reported Ford will be Muller’s associate head coach.