Illini extend John Groce's contract through 2019

Illini extend John Groce's contract through 2019
July 24, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Vinnie Duber

John Groce will be staying in Champaign a little longer.

Illinois announced Thursday the extension of the head basketball coach's contract through the end of the 2018-19 season. That includes a raise of $100,000 a year, upping his annual compensation to $1.7 million a year. Those same numbers were reported earlier this month when the athletics department proposed the extension to the school administration.

Through two years of his tenure at Illinois, Groce has led the Illini to a 43-28 record and one NCAA tournament appearance (in 2013). The Illini failed to make the Big Dance last season, instead earning a top seed in the NIT.

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"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," Illinois athletics director Mike Thomas said in the school's release. "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. The future is bright for Fighting Illini basketball under coach Groce's leadership."

Groce's teams have appeared in the AP top-25 rankings in each of his first two seasons.

"We remain excited about the future of Illinois basketball," Groce said in the release. "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. But I always say, 'It takes a village,' and I truly believe that. It takes everyone involved to accomplish our goals, and we have incredible support here at the University of Illinois, led by President Bob Easter, Chancellor Phyllis Wise and Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. Their leadership is integral in our daily pursuit of building a program that will compete at the highest level."