Ex-Illini coach John Groce reportedly close to getting head-coaching job at Akron


John Groce's time on college basketball's unemployment line might not last long.

The former Illinois head coach, who was fired last month, is reportedly close to taking over the head-coaching job at Akron.

Groce's time as the head coach of the Illini came to an end after a five-year tenure in which the team missed the NCAA tournament in each of the last four seasons.

A move to Akron would mean a return to the MAC and the state of Ohio for Groce, who spent four seasons as the head coach at Ohio prior to taking over at Illinois. He posted a 34-30 conference record in those four seasons as the Bobcats twice won the MAC tournament title.

The Zips need a new head coach after Keith Dambrot took the head-coaching job at Duquesne. Dambrot had plenty of success at Akron, reaching three NCAA tournaments in the past nine seasons and winning an average 23 games a season during his 13-season tenure. The Zips set program records for wins in each of the past two seasons, winning 26 games in 2015-16 and 27 games this past season.

Illinois replaced Groce with Brad Underwood, who was introduced last month.

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