Illinois fires head coach John Groce

Illinois has fired coach John Groce, the school announced Saturday.

After making a late-season push, Illinois lost its final two games, and with it a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Instead, the Illini will miss the Big Dance for the fourth straight year with an 18-14 record.

The Illini should get a good seed in the NIT, and assistant coach Jamall Walker has been named the interim head coach while a national search for Groce’s replacement begins immediately.

In five seasons at Illinois, Groce finished with a 95-75 record overall and 37-53 in the Big Ten. He received a $1.7 million buyout for the two years left on his contract, according to a release.

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