Ten days after losing coach Tim Beckman to Illinois, the University of Toledo football team saw two assistant coaches resign their posts Monday to join him.
Co-defensive coordinator Mike Ward and tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh have accepted positions on Beckman's Illini coaching staff and are not expected to coach the Rockets against Air Force in the Military Bowl on Dec. 28 in Washington.
Both assistants were not present at UT practice Monday at the Fetterman Training Center.
"The nice thing for us is the majority of our coaches have decided to stay here," UT coach Matt Campbell said. "No matter what happens with everybody else, I think we'll be in great shape with our kids. It's really been business as usual."
Another UT assistant who had received an offer from Beckman to join his staff at Illinois will be remaining with the Rockets, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Running backs coach and Northwestern graduate Louis Ayeni had been courted by Beckman because of his Big Ten and Chicago ties, but Campbell aggressively "recruited" Ayeni to stay with Toledo.
Campbell is also expected to announce the hiring of Tom Manning on Tuesday to fill his former position as offensive line coach. Manning served as offensive line coach at Mount Union last season and was the director of football operations at UT in 2010.
TICKET UPDATE: UT has sold 1,200 of its 5,000 ticket allotment for the Military Bowl as of Monday morning, according to school officials.
That figure includes UT box office sales, alumni bus trip participants, and coach/player tickets.
Tickets remain on sale at the UT athletic ticket office (Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:30), at 419-530-4653, or at utrockets.com. They are priced at $90, $55, and $25. UT student tickets are $15 (limit two).
Seats are also still available for the UT alumni association bus. Private motor coaches will depart campus Dec. 27 and return to Toledo on Dec. 29. The package includes roundtrip transportation, a two-night hotel stay, five meals including pre-game party, a guided tour of Washington landmarks, a ticket to the game, and a commemorative Military Bowl hooded sweatshirt.
The total cost of the package is $400 per person based upon double occupancy. The rate for single occupancy is $560. Reservations will be accepted until noon Dec. 22 at 419-530-2586.
ROCKET HONORED: UT senior offensive lineman Mike VanDerMeulen is one of three finalists for the Bobby Bowden Award, presented annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the FBS player who best epitomizes a student-athlete.
The other two finalists are center Ben Jones of Georgia and quarterback Case Keenum of Houston.
Nominees for the Bowden Award must have at least a 3.0 GPA and conduct themselves as a faith model in the community, on campus, in the classroom, and on the field.
VanDerMeulen is a first-team All-MAC selection who carries a 3.385 GPA in human resource management. He has started 49 straight games at left tackle for UT.
The 2011 Bowden Award winner will be announced at the FCA Allstate Bowl Championship Series breakfast in New Orleans on Jan. 6.
Contact Zach Silka at: email@example.com, 419-724-6084, or on Twitter @ZachSilka.