Werner: Whitman cleaning up Thomas' mess

Illini Inquirer's Jeremy Werner reacts to the dismissal of Illinois women's basketball coach Matt Bollant

Illinois press release

Champaign, Ill. – University of Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman announced Tuesday that Matt Bollant has been relieved of his duties as head women's basketball coach effective immediately.

Bollant averaged 12 wins per year during his five seasons at Illinois, compiling a 61-94 record overall and 22-62 in Big Ten play. He led the Fighting Illini to 19 wins and a tie for fifth place in the Big Ten in his first season in 2013 when his team advanced to the WNIT Quarterfinals. He is 343-149 in 15 seasons as a head coach, following stops at Bryan College and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

"I would like to thank Matt Bollant and his staff for their many contributions to Illinois Basketball during the last five years," Whitman said. "They have faced great adversity, both on and off the court, yet have greeted every day with unyielding optimism and unmatched effort. They have maintained the well-being and personal growth of the student-athletes under their charge as their foremost priority and have been exceptional ambassadors for Illinois Athletics in our community and in basketball circles across the country. 

"Without question, the program is in a better place today than it was when they arrived. Our expectations for women's basketball, however, match those that we have for many of our other sport programs: to compete at the highest level, year in and year out. I am excited to embrace a future for Illinois Women's Basketball where we realize the program's full – and virtually unlimited – potential."

A national search for the next head coach will begin immediately.

Bollant has one year remaining on his contract and will receive the remaining balance of payment due, approximately $450,000.


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