Ohio’s Groce next in Illinois coaching search?

According to Yahoo sports, Illinois has turned their coaching search to Ohio’s John Groce after being rebuffed by Shaka Smart of VCU and Butler’s Brad Stevens.

Groce will not be in Athens forever. The Bobcats head coach will eventually head for greener pastures. He is a great coach that is also a great recruiter. I hope he doesn’t take the Illinois job for a couple of reasons. One of course is that I want him to stay at Ohio and build the program up to a dominant contender in the Mid American Conference. But the other reason is that Illinois is a tough spot to step into. The Big Ten has teams like Ohio State, Michigan State and Indiana to contend with as well as Purdue and Michigan. The players quit on the last coach going 2-12 to end the season and cost him his job. Groce would be at best their third choice.

Hopefully Groce will stay another season in Athens. With his roster almost fully returning for next year another run in the NCAA tourney is very possible. With that, a better opportunity will be right around the corner. Hopefully he is patient and waits for a better environment to showcase his fine coaching.

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