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Akron to hire John Groce as head coach, per report

After five years at Illinois, Groce returns to the MAC

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Akron has hired John Groce as their new head coach, according to a report by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

After Keith Dambrot left to become the head coach at Duquesne, Groce was immediately tabbed as a potential candidate. Groce was fired from Illinois following their loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.

In his time at Illinois, Groce compiled a 95-75 record, and even made the NCAA Tournament during his first year at the helm. However he wasn’t able to sustain that success, and his inability to take the Illini back to the tournament in any of the following four years was ultimately his undoing.

One thing Groce will bring to Akron is a familiarity with the MAC. Before his tenure at Illinois, Groce was the head coach at Ohio from 2008-12. During his time there, he went 85-56, and led the Bobcats to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2012.