Late Wednesday night news came out that Ohio University men's basketball coach John Groce had agreed to terms to become head coach at University of Illinois. Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reported that a news conference would likely be scheduled for Thursday to make the announcement official. Ohio made a last-ditch effort to raise money to keep Groce on board, which could have been one of the reasons for the delay in Groce finalizing terms with Illinois.
Ohio University, which is coming off a remarkable run to the Sweet 16, will likely search among the assistant ranks of the Big Ten for a replacement. Ohio State assistant coach and Jeff Boals, who played at OU, is already a name being mentioned as a potential replacement.
Walter Offutt, who was a big part of the OU's March run and had that incredible game against North Carolina in the Sweet 16, reacted to the news with a Twitter message:
I love you Coach Groce hope you know that— Walter Offutt (@OUOffutt3) March 29, 2012