What has been speculated for weeks became reality today when the University of Illinois announced that men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber has been fired from his duties after nine years as head coach.
“It’s difficult to make these decisions when you are talking about someone the quality of person that Bruce Weber is,” athletics director Mike Thomas said. “Bruce is everything you’d want in a coach as it relates to how he represents the university, his student-athletes, his programs and that makes it much more difficult.”
USA Today points out that the University’s move to can Weber comes less than 24 hours after the Illini fell to 17-15 with a loss to Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
The buyout on Weber’s contract is said to be $3.9 million and will reportedly be spread out equally over three years.
Assistant coach Jerrance Howard will serve as interim coach until a successor is hired and will lead the team if it is selected to the NIT.
In his second season at the school in 2005, Weber guided Illinois to the NCAA National Championship game before falling to North Carolina 75-70. Since that season, Illinois has won two NCAA tournament games and will miss the field for the third time in five seasons.
After beating Ohio State in early January, Illinois was 15-3 before losing 12 of its last 14 games.
Weber exits Illinois with a 210-101 overall record, 89-66 in the Big Ten.
ESPN talks more about Illinois’ decision to fire Bruce Weber in the clip below:
via Chicago Tribune