Butler's Stevens turns down Illinois coaching job

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A person familiar with the basketball coaching search at the University of Illinois says the Illini are interested in talking to Ohio University's John Groce after being turned down by Brad Stevens of Butler University.

The person said Sunday that Illinois turned its attention to Groce after Stevens said he will stay at Butler. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the search to replace fired coach Bruce Weber is ongoing.

Stevens, who led Butler to back-to-back NCAA championship games, had reportedly been an Illini target after Shaka Smart elected to stay at Virginia Commonwealth.

Stevens says he is "happy and extremely grateful" to be at Butler.

Butler went 22-15 this season, missing the NCAA tournament but running Stevens’ record to 139-40 in five seasons with the school.

A message was left seeking comment from Ohio basketball spokesman Drew Wiseman.

Groce coached Ohio to a 29-7 record this season and a spot in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats lost 73-65 to top-seeded North Carolina on Friday in one of the best games of the tournament.



  • Great coach and person
    I just have to say that in these days of "go for the biggest paycheck and the most notoriety" Brad Stevens deserves to be commended. He made a multi-year commitment to my alma mater and he's being true to his word.

    Thank you for a great season, Coach Stevens. Looking forward to seeing you on the floor with the dawgs next year!
  • Yes, Illini
    How low the program has become? It is a mid level school in the Big Ten, and has never been anything more (Sorry, Jack Trudeau). It is not Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, not even Purdue, or Iowa...what is funny is it is not even Wisconsin anymore, and they were the laughing stock of the league in the 70's and 80's, an automatic win. The truth is: 1)Your athletic director has likely allowed his ego to get in the way, has to have his own guy, so you better hope he is right about whoever he selects; 2) you will never get another guy like Bill Self, he got out of there as fast as possible...Weber was about as good as you can do, he did get to the final game once with Self's players, and; 3) where did you get Weber from by the way? Oh yeah, that's right...Southern Illinois in the MVC...now you are yawning about a guy from Ohio U? The MAC is probably as good as you can do. How is this situation any different than when Weber got hired? You need to be realistic about your school, I mean please, your most succesful basketball coach ever looked like Mel Brooks ...the two best candidates turned you down to stay at Butler and VCU...those are mid-majors, just like SIU, one of them is in Richmond, Virginia for heavens sake. What does that say about your school? Sounds like really smart (can you say Shaka?) coaches know what everyone else knows...your school is a graveyard where the alummni and athletic department have unrealistic expectations and delusions of grandeur (Football Coaches know that too, as your AD, replacing Ron Zook, who was the head coach at Florida with...wait for it...Tim Beckman, from Toledo, and Toledo is in what league? The MAC? Surely not...I think Toledo played a bowl game in a parking lot in Detroit last year) Bruce Weber is an excellent coach who will get hired at some mid major and make the tournament every other year until he retires (he'd make a good talking head if it were not for that voice)...you were lucky to have him, but of course you were not satified with making the tournament every year. If you are lucky enough to get John Groce, you should thank the stars above, because he is better than you should expect to get.
    By the way, I believe Mike Thomas was the AD at Cincinnati before he got silly and came to Illinois to cash a bigger check...I believe he hired a couple of coaches there that no one was very excited about at the time...Brian Kelly and Mick Cronin (and Butch Jones after Kelly left)...those two guys have done pretty well last time I looked, so even though Thomas may be on an ego trip, or too passionate about finding "his own guy", his track record says he can find guys who can get it done. Don't yawn yet...the worst that can happen to you is that you can be about the same as you have always been, a most of the time pretender in a league of big boys...
  • Excited!!!
    Wow, the coach from Ohio Univ. I's so excited - Y A W N - How low the program has become.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now