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I mentioned this over the weekend in the March Madness thread that Groce was going to be a hot commodity- and it's playing out that way.

Illinois contacts Ohio's Groce about job

Updated Mar 26, 2012 10:51 AM ET

The search for a new basketball coach continued Monday at the University of Illinois, with Ohio's John Groce the latest candidate to be contacted.

According to CBS Sports, the 40-year-old Groce is interested in the position, which has been vacant for weeks after Illinois fired Bruce Weber.

After VCU's Shaka Smart declined an offer from Illinois a week ago, Butler's Brad Stevens took his name out of the running over the weekend.

"I am happy and extremely grateful to be the head coach at Butler University," Stevens said in a statement Sunday. "I am already looking forward to next season and the start of our postseason workouts in April."

The 35-year-old Stevens has turned down big offers from major programs on a yearly basis, having led tiny Butler to the national championship game in 2010 and 2011.

Groce's Ohio Bobcats were champions of the MAC this season, losing Friday in the Sweet 16 to North Carolina in overtime.

Groce is familiar with the Big Ten, serving as a top assistant to Ohio State's Thad Matta from 2004-08. He was previously an assistant to Matta at Xavier and Butler.

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebas...cts-ohio-john-groce-about-coaching-job-032612
 

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Going......Going.......G.....

Reports: Illinois close to hiring Groce
Updated Mar 27, 2012 3:52 PM ET

Fresh off a run to the Sweet 16, Ohio University's John Groce appears to be the choice to fill the coaching vacancy at Illinois.

According to both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, a deal to make the 40-year-old Groce the new coach at the Big Ten university was nearly complete Tuesday.

One source told the Sun-Times the hiring will happen "barring a last-second catastrophe," while another said "it's in the closing stages."

Illinois began its pursuit of Groce over the weekend after VCU's Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens rejected overtures from athletic director Mike Thomas.

Negotiations started just days after Groce's Ohio Bobcats were eliminated by North Carolina 73-65 in overtime in the Midwest Regional Semi-final in St. Louis.

Groce is familiar with the Big Ten, serving as a top assistant to Ohio State's Thad Matta from 2004-08. He was previously an assistant to Matta at Xavier and Butler.

The Bobcats (29-8) won the MAC title this season and are projected as a strong contender to repeat as champions next season.

Illinois fired coach Bruce Weber at the end of a disappointing year in which the team missed the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/Illinois-John-Groce-head-coach-032712
 

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Three cheers for the Butler coach ...
how can any coach leave a team thats had a season like ou and has them all coming back next year??? :D
 
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