Administrators at Ohio University are trying to raise money to keep men’s basketball coach John Groce, who has emerged as a top candidate for the open position at Illinois. Reports yesterday indicated that Illinois and Groce were in the last steps of finalizing a deal and that he would be announced as the new head coach in the near future. But the AP is now reporting that OU is doing all it can to halt that movement, including a drive to raise more cash to offer Groce.
A spokesman for the Ohio University says administrators there are trying to find money to give the school’s basketball coach a raise and keep him in Ohio.
Ohio athletics spokesman Drew Wiseman said Wednesday that administrators there aren’t sure yet where the money would come from but that they’d like to keep Groce.
Groce coached in the Big Ten as an assistant to Thad Matta at Ohio State, so it’s a natural step for him to return at Illinois. But throughout the tournament, he continually expressed his satisfaction with and love for the OU community and administration.