According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, Butler coach Chris Holtmann has hired Illinois assistant Ryan Pedon to his staff. Pedon joined the Illini in April of 2013 as a 'Special Assistant to the Head Coach' and had previous experience at Toledo, Miami, and Kent State.
For those of you wondering, Pedon wasn't involved with off-campus recruiting because NCAA rules limit that responsibility to full-time assistants. So this departure only opens up a spot on Illinois' support staff (Thanks to Jeremy Werner for clarifying that).
Current Coaching Staff
- Head Coach: John Groce
- Assistant to the Head Coach: EMPTY
- Assistant (Front Court): Dustin Ford
- Assistant (Guards): Jamall Walker
- Assistant (Wings): Paris Parham
- Director of Basketball Operations: Mark Morris
So this is where it gets interesting. If handled correctly, open assistant coaching positions are one of the most valuable assets in college basketball. You obviously never want to see anyone leave, but John Groce could go so many directions with this next hire.
Before we get to potential candidates I just want to clarify that it's a bit hard to project interest for such a position. The person would technically be a part of the staff, but they wouldn't really do any of the fun stuff like coaching and recruiting.
Any former Illinois player
Deon Thomas, Roger Powell, Dee Brown, or literally anyone else that has worn the uniform. It would probably take a full-time assistant coaching position to lure any of the above names back, but there's bound to be someone that's interested.
Offutt played for Groce at Ohio and is currently a graduate assistant with the team. Wouldn't be out of the question to see him get a promotion.
Will Robert Smith ever get bored of winning IHSA titles at Simeon? Probably not. But if he does, I think he'd be a nice fit for Illinois considering the fact that there will be three former Wolverines on the roster next year (Kendrick Nunn, Jaylon Tate, D.J. Williams). Again, it would probably take a full-time position to convince him to join.