Illinois announced the hiring of Matt Bollant as its new head women’s basketball coach Wednesday morning. Bollant comes to Illinois after a successful five-year stint at Green Bay, where he coached the Phoenix to five straight Horizon League titles and four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. He replaces Jolette Law, who was fired following this month’s Big Ten tournament.
Bollant has guided Green Bay to a 148-19 record (.886 winning percentage) in the last five years, including an 85-5 mark in the Horizon League. The Phoenix were a combined 65-4 in the past two seasons, going 34-2 in 2010-11, and were ranked as high as No. 9 in the national polls each of the past two seasons. Last year, Green Bay went 4-0 against the Big Ten, defeating Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State. This season, the Phoenix downed Illinois 82-62 at the San Juan Shootout and had triumphs over No. 25 Georgia Tech, which went on to the Sweet 16, Marquette and Wisconsin.
“It’s hard to find a coach in the country with a better reputation for winning than Matt Bollant,” Thomas said. “He has a proven track record of tremendous success both at the conference and at the national level. He is truly one of the best and brightest young coaches in the women’s game today and I consider it an honor to have him at the University of Illinois. I have no doubt that he has the experience and intangibles to duplicate that success in Champaign.”
Bollant is thrilled about his new gig.
“The opportunity to coach in the Big Ten and at such a prestigious institution like the University of Illinois is very exciting for me,” Bollant said.