Bruce Weber Will Coach on Saturday Afternoon

The Fighting Illini defeated Northwestern on Friday afternoon bouncing back from their only loss of the season, but it was a sad day in the Illini family. The mother of Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber died on Friday evening after surgery to repair a ruptured aorta. <br><br> In his statement through the University of Illinois, Bruce Weber stated that he will coach on Saturday "because that is what [my mother] would have wanted".

The Illini were playing their first game after a loss in Columbus to Ohio State on Friday afternoon against their in-state rival, Northwestern, and they quickly took care of business jumping out to a 17 point lead at the half and then cruising through the second half for a 68-51 victory over the Wildcats.

Unfortunately after the game, the Illini were not allowed to watch the Indiana vs. Minnesota game with an open mind because the entire team was wondering what was happening with their coach as he rushed out of the United Center and to the hospital to be with his mother who would eventually die due to the torn aorta that she sufferred before the game on Friday afternoon.


"Obviously, despite all the great things that have happened to our team this year, a day like today makes you realize the most important things in life, and that is your family. This has been a great loss to our family. My mother has been very influential in my life and career, and that is why I have decided to coach the team on Saturday, because that is what she would have wanted. I would like to thank everyone for keeping my family in their thoughts and prayers. I would like to also thank the staff at the United Center for their quick assistance and the fine medical staff, especially Dr. Higgins, at Rush University Medical Center for their outstanding care. My mother had a tremendous heart and she gave so much to so many people. I'll always love her for that."


"On behalf of the Illini family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to Coach Bruce Weber and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him at this time."


"The entire campus community is incredibly sad at the passing of Coach Weber's mother. Our hearts go out Bruce and his family."

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