Weber Removed as Head Basketball Coach at Illinois

The University of Illinois announced today that men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber has been released from his duties after nine years as head coach.  Illinois finished the 2012 regular season with a 17-15 record and in a tie for ninth place with a 6-12 record. Read the full AP story here and the rest of the Illinois release inside this post.

“This is an extremely difficult decision, especially with the success Bruce Weber had early in his career here at Illinois,” Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. “However, when making decisions of this magnitude, there are many things that need to be considered, including the direction of the program in terms of wins and losses, competitiveness in the Big Ten and fan support. Bruce has been an outstanding ambassador for the University of Illinois and we wish him nothing but the best as he moves on in his career.”

“Fighting Illini fans should expect our basketball team to be a factor in the Big Ten race and in the national conscience each season. The tradition is extremely rich here at Illinois. We will begin a national search immediately to find the very best coach possible for the University of Illinois.”

Weber won outright Big Ten championships in each of his first two seasons at Illinois, and led the Fighting Illini to the national championship game in 2005 with a 37-2 record in a season where Illinois wasranked No. 1 in the nation for 18 weeks.

However, following the 2006 season, Illinois compiled a Big Ten mark of just 50-56 over the last six seasons. Weber finishes his career at Illinois with a 210-101 (.675) record and overall Big Ten record of 89-65 (.578). In addition to the 2004 and 2005 outright Big Ten titles, Weber’s Illini added a Big Ten Tournament championship in 2005. Illinois advanced to the NCAA Tournament six times and the NIT in 2010 under Weber. The Illini won at least 20 games in seven of Weber’s nine seasons, including the NCAA-record 37 victories in 2005. The Illini also set a school record with 19 losses in2008.

Weber was named the National and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2005, and he also earned the 2007 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award for his involvement with that organization.

Weber has three years remaining on his current contract and will be paid $1.3 million annually. The removal is effective immediately and Weber will not coach any games that Illinois should play in the postseason.

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Paul Rogers on 3/9/2012 @ 12:25pm EST Said:

I see that the press conference for the termination of Bruce Weber is more important than the live game between Michigan State and Iowa. What a shame you have your priorities so screwed up. What is the matter with you people??????

    BTN.com staff on 3/9/2012 @ 12:28pm EST Said:

    Paul, the Michigan State-Iowa quarterfinal is airing on ESPN, not BTN. So is the next quarterfinal game immediately after that one. Tonight’s other two quarterfinal games are on BTN. Hope that clears up the confusion.

Pat Livingston on 3/9/2012 @ 12:45pm EST Said:

Like the ILLINI really care about the Spartans or Hawkeyes??? May be your priority but doens’t have to be everyone else in the nation…. just saying.

    BTN.com staff on 3/9/2012 @ 1:00pm EST Said:

    Pat, we don’t understand. Let us know and we’ll try to help. Again, the Michigan State-Iowa quarterfinal is airing on ESPN, not BTN. So is the next quarterfinal game immediately after that one. Tonight’s other two quarterfinal games are on BTN. Hope that clears up the confusion. TV Info here and here.

Kathy Bremer on 3/9/2012 @ 2:00pm EST Said:

The Big Ten conference is a little less special with the removal of Bruce Weber who is a true gentleman and a great coach.

DALE MARTIN on 3/9/2012 @ 6:06pm EST Said:

MIKE THOMAS HAS TOO MUCH POWER. HOW DOES A PERSON IN HIS 1ST YR AS ATHLETIC DIR GARNISH SO MUCH POWER. I AGREE WITH TOM ISZZO THAT BRUCE GOT THE RAW END OF THIS DEAL. NOW ILL HAS TO START FROM SCRATCH. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WILL WANT TO COACH ILL. THE PLAYERS ALSO ARE GETTING A RAW DEAL. THEY TRIED, WHICH IS MORE THAT MR THOMAS. IT IS NOW WANDER ILL MISSED OUT ON SOME OF THE BIG NAME RECRUITS. I MAY HAVE TO CHANGE MY TEAM TOO. DPM

randall on 3/10/2012 @ 9:11am EST Said:

If you do your job you dont worry about getting fired!!! His record outside of the years with Self’s players was very marginal at best. Nice guy in the wrong program.