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Illinois Set To Hire Ohio's John Groce, According To Report

Just one day after it was reported that Illinois was going to look at Ohio University's John Groce for its vacant head coaching position, it's now being reported that Groce is "the guy." The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Groce will be hired as the new basketball coach for the Fighting Illini:

Barring a shocking change, Ohio U. coach John Groce will be hired as Illinois' new basketball coach, multiple sources said Tuesday, indicating it's more a case of when, not if, the announcement will come.

That's strong language: "when, not it," which does make this look as though it's happening. Nothing has been made official, and Illinois has yet to announce a press conference to introduce Groce, which is contradictory to some other reports. Still, there's no news on any dollar amounts or anything of that nature, and no official word that the sides are actually done working out all of the details.

Still, the report says that it's going to get done "today or tomorrow", barring any last-second catastrophe. It does fit in line with some of the other candidates that Illinois has pursued of late, though Groce is one a much smaller scale and is known by a lot less people than, say, Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart. As the report notes, it may not be a popular signing for the Illinois fanbase, but Illinois has courted plenty of big names who were just loyal to their schools.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.