Mar 26, 2012
Butler Coach Turns Down Offer To Lead Illini

Chicago Tribune, Shannon Ryan

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-25/sports/ct-spt-0326-illinois-basketball–20120326_1_contract-of-new-football-illinois-athletic-director-illini-coach

Illinois keeps coming up empty in its search for a new basketball coach.

Butler coach Brad Stevens declined an offer by Illinois, and he released a statement Sunday saying he will remain with the Bulldogs.

Illinois was offering Stevens a lucrative contract, similar to what Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart also turned down, worth about $2.6 million annually, according to Tribune sources.

The search will now focus on Ohio coach John Groce, whose Bobcats lost to North Carolina on Friday in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.

Sources told the Tribune that Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas made a serious run at Stevens, with a package similar to the length of Stevens’ current contract, which secures him through 2021-22, and would have substantially increased his salary. One source said the price tag was around $21 million for an eight-year contract.

“I am happy and extremely grateful to be the head coach at Butler University, said the statement from Stevens, who led the Bulldogs to the previous two NCAA tournament title games, and I am already looking forward to next season and the start of our postseason workouts in April.”

Thomas has told Illinois’ board of trustees he wants to introduce the next Illini coach before leaving for the Final Four. Groce would be the sixth candidate on Thomas’ list, following Smart, Alabama’s Anthony Grant, Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, Washington’s Lorenzo Romar and Stevens.

Butler Coach Turns Down Offer To Lead Illini

Chicago Tribune, Shannon Ryan

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-25/sports/ct-spt-0326-illinois-basketball–20120326_1_contract-of-new-football-illinois-athletic-director-illini-coach

Illinois keeps coming up empty in its search for a new basketball coach.

Butler coach Brad Stevens declined an offer by Illinois, and he released a statement Sunday saying he will remain with the Bulldogs.

Illinois was offering Stevens a lucrative contract, similar to what Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart also turned down, worth about $2.6 million annually, according to Tribune sources.

The search will now focus on Ohio coach John Groce, whose Bobcats lost to North Carolina on Friday in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.

Sources told the Tribune that Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas made a serious run at Stevens, with a package similar to the length of Stevens’ current contract, which secures him through 2021-22, and would have substantially increased his salary. One source said the price tag was around $21 million for an eight-year contract.

“I am happy and extremely grateful to be the head coach at Butler University, said the statement from Stevens, who led the Bulldogs to the previous two NCAA tournament title games, and I am already looking forward to next season and the start of our postseason workouts in April.”

Thomas has told Illinois’ board of trustees he wants to introduce the next Illini coach before leaving for the Final Four. Groce would be the sixth candidate on Thomas’ list, following Smart, Alabama’s Anthony Grant, Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, Washington’s Lorenzo Romar and Stevens.






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