Illini Basketball Coaching Hot List

The Fighting Illini basketball program is searching for a new head coach. There are a number of qualified coaches, several of whom seem to be likely possibilities. InsideIllini.com provides a partial list of coaches for Illini fans to ponder. Others will be added or subtracted as more information is discovered. At this point, we are listing only those who are currently head coaches.

Lorenzo Romar
Current Position:
Head Coach at the University of Washington
Age:
46
Overall record:
309-199 with games to play.
Salary:
$1.505 million.
Buyout:
NA
Notable:
Has returned the Huskies to prominence in his ten year career at the school..
Positives:
Has coached in the Midwest and is considered an outstanding recruiter.
Negatives:
Age is a consideration at 53. He graduated from Washington and may not want to leave.

Craig Robinson
Current Position:
Head Coach at Oregon State
Age:
49
Overall record:
89-96
Salary:
N/A
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
His overall record as a head coach is a little deceiving. Robinson has brought Oregon State back from the depths to respectability.
Positives:
Robinson has strong recruiting ties in Chicago
Negatives:
His coaching record may not excite Illini fans.

Johnny Dawkins
Current Position:
Head Coach Stanford.
Age:
44
44
Overall record:
69-58
Salary:
$1 million approximately.
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Is respected in coaching circles and has led Stanford to a 20-10 record this year.
Positives:
Dawkins is from the Duke coaching tree and can recruit.
Negatives:
Dawkins is from the Duke coaching tree.

Anthony Grant
Current Position:
Head coach at Alabama.
Age:
46
Overall record:
139-63
Salary:
$1.83 million for 6 more years
Buyout:
Base salary of $245,000 times years left on contract.
Notable:
Anthony Grant has seen his star continue to rise, from being an assistant for Billy Donovan at Florida to running his own programs at Virginia Commonwealth and Alabama.
Positives:
Grant is considered a tremendous recruiter and coach.
Negatives:
He has lived in the South his whole life. So has his wife. He may not wish to leave.

Stan Heath
Current Position:
Head coach at South Florida.
Age:
48
Overall record:
180-165 combined at Kent State, Arkansas and South Florida.
Salary:
$900K
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Heath comes from the Tom Izzo coaching tree and has plenty of experience.
Positives:
Comes from the Midwest and understands the recruiting game.
Negatives:
He is an enigma, never quite accumulating the record others expect of him.

Reggie Theus
Current Position:
Former head coach at New Mexico State and with the Sacramento Kings
Age:
54
Overall college record:
41-23
Salary:
N/A
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Theus turned around New Mexico State in two years after replacing Lou Henson. He was then hired to coach the Sacramento Kings. He has been out of coaching the past four years.
Positives:
Theus has strong Chicago ties and has backing from prominent people. He is considered a charismatic personality and strong recruiter.
Negatives:
Has minimal background as a head coach, especially at the high major leve. Age may also be a consideration.

Trent Johnson
Current Position:
Head Basketball Coach at LSU
Age:
56
Overall record:
226-184
Salary:
$1.5 million
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Has led both Nevada and Stanford into the NCAA Sweet 16. He is completing his fourth year at LSU.
Positives:
Johnson has a reputation for turning around dormant programs. He has experience in many locations. He fits the qualificatiions for the job.
Negatives:
LSU fans are divided on their degree of optimism toward his future there. His age might be a deterrent.

Buzz Williams
Current Position:
Head Basketball Coach at Marquette
Age:
39
Overall record:
110-60
Salary:
over $2 million
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Led his 2010-2011 team to the NCAA sweet sixteen. Has a 27-7 record in 2011-12.
Positives:
Considered a bright young coach with an exciting coaching style. Is said to have good recruiting connections in Chicago.
Negatives:
It is unknown whether he meets the criteria the Illini seek in a new coach. Youth may or may not be a concern.

John Groce
Current Position:
Head Basketball Coach at Ohio University
Age:
41
Overall record:
85-56
Salary:
base salary $300,000
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Has led Ohio to 29-8 record this season, including an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Positives:
Grew up in the Midwest, understands how to recruit in the Midwest. Ohio led MAC in scoring and turnover margin.
Negatives:
Is not a minority. Sideline antics may turn off Illini fans. Not a big name at this point.

Chris Mack
Current Position:
Head Basketball Coach at Xavier
Age:
43
Overall record:
73-30
Salary:
N/A
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Led his 2011-2012 team to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Positives:
Has similar record to Shaka Smart at VCU after three years. Has proven recruiting ability.
Negatives:
Not likely to excite Illini Nation. Would not fit minority hire criteria.


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