Weber: ‘Committed’ to Illinois despite Sooner talk
Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber said Thursday he’s
received calls about other coaching jobs but doesn’t plan to leave
The eighth-year head coach had been linked this week with the
vacant Oklahoma position.
”I received a few interest calls regarding other positions, but
nothing beyond that,” he said in a statement released by the
school. ”I remain committed to the University of Illinois.”
The Transcript in Norman, Okla., reported Wednesday that Weber
was a candidate for the Sooners job, open after Oklahoma fired Jeff
Capel earlier this month. Weber was also reportedly considered by
Some Illinois fans have called for Weber to be fired after
Illinois’ 20-14 finish. The Illini opened the season in the Top 25
with talk about a potential Big Ten title but finished unranked and
in fourth place.
Athletics director Ron Guenther told reporters in February that
Weber’s not in danger of being fired. Guenther, 65, has a contract
that expires this summer and he hasn’t ruled out retiring.
Guenther and Weber have had only preliminary discussions about
this season’s results, the interest of other schools and whether
Weber will receive a raise or contract extension, sports
information director Kent Brown said.
Weber is paid $1.5 million a year under a contract that expires
”They’ll sit down after the (Final Four) and talk about the
whole program, including compensation,” Brown said.
Weber said Thursday that his team started working out this week
for the first time since its exit from the NCAA tournament. The
Illini lost to Kansas after winning their opener over UNLV.
”I am fortunate to have one of the elite jobs in all of college
basketball and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead
for our program,” he said in the statement. ”We will work
tirelessly to ensure that Illinois is competing at a championship
level both in the Big Ten and nationally.”