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Illinois confirms Groce as new coach

March 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM
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URBANA, Ill., March 29 (UPI) -- John Groce was named Thursday as the new head coach for the University of Illinois men's basketball team, the university announced at an Urbana news conference.

Groce, who formerly coached for Ohio University, said he expects Illinois to become a Big Ten power under his leadership, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

"This place has tremendous potential," Groce said. "The 'consistency over greatness' line that (Miami Heat president) Pat Riley uses is what we're striving for."

Former Illinois coach Bruce Weber was fired by athletic director Mike Thomas March 9 after failing to make it into three of the last five NCAA tournaments.

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