John Groce gets one-year extension on his contract at Illinois

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Latest in hoops: Latest News | Coaching Changes | Recruiting

Illinois coach John Groce had his contract officially extended through the 2018-19 season on Thursday. The new deal means Groce will now make $1.7 million per season, up $100,000 from his old deal.

Illinois has gone 43-28 in Groce's two seasons in Champaign.

"John Groce has done an excellent job in his first two years as Illinois basketball coach, so we are pleased to extend his contract and continue our commitment to him and this program in its pursuit of championships," Illini AD Mike Thomas said. "He has been tremendous in every facet of the job, from coaching and mentoring our players to recruiting, supporting the academic mission of our university, assisting in the State Farm Center renovation project, being involved in the community and engaging with our outstanding fans."

Illinois has been solid but not yet gotten back to a point where its fans feel the team should be. It could be on the way, though. Clearly Illinois' athletic department powers-that-be have the faith. The big question for Illinois fans regarding Groce is: Can he bring in a big-time recruit? Groce has been diligently targeting five-star Chicago-area point guard Jalen Brunson on the recruiting trail this offseason.

"We remain excited about the future of Illinois basketball," Groce said in a statement. "So much of the credit goes to the young men in our program who believe in our vision and are working to achieve the high standards we set in all areas both on the court and in the classroom."

Correction: An earlier version of this story noted Groce had not reached the NCAA Tournament with Illinois. The Illini made it his first season, in 2013.

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