Illinois hires Ohio's Groce as new coach
Illinois on Wednesday night completed a deal to hire John Groce as the team's new basketball coach, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing a source.
A news conference will be held Thursday afternoon to confirm the 40-year-old's move from Ohio University to the Big Ten.
Earlier Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Ohio University had asked its top donors to reach into their wallets in an effort to keep Groce.
An athletic department official said the school was trying to "generate a raise" for Groce, who made a base salary of $300,000 this season plus $60,000 in bonuses for the team's run to the Sweet 16.
He led the Bobcats (29-8) to the MAC title this season and the team was projected as a strong contender to repeat as champions next season.
It was not clear what his new salary would be at Illinois.
Groce has past ties to the Big Ten, serving as a top assistant to Ohio State's Thad Matta from 2004-2008. He was previously an assistant to Matta at Xavier and Butler.
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.