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Illinois hires Darren Hertz as new Special Assistant to the Head Coach

The newest member to the coaching staff spent 19 seasons at Florida under Billy Donovan.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball has announced the hiring of former former Florida staffer Darren Hertz as the program's new Special Assistant to the Head Coach; he replaces Ryan Pedon, who left for Butler back in April. Hertz spent the past 19 seasons working under former Gators coach Billy Donovan. You can click here to view the full press release from the athletic department.

Statement from John Groce:

"Darren is a perfect fit for this position; he brings the total package to the University of Illinois, Darren spent nearly two decades assisting one of the most successful and innovative coaches in the country in Billy Donovan. He made contributions in every administrative area while at Florida including team and individual video analysis, opponent scouting, game planning, scheduling, film exchange, summer camps, travel, meals, and supervising student managers. That experience will allow for a seamless transition as he joins our program. We are always striving to get better, and Darren also will bring new ideas and perspective to the table."

~ John Groce

Statement from Darren Hertz:

"I want to thank Coach Groce, Mike Thomas, Jason Lener and the entire Illinois athletics administration for this wonderful opportunity, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the tradition of Fighting Illini basketball and feel honored to now be a part of it. I am excited to start working with such an excellent coach and person in John Groce. Additionally, I am looking forward to working with the rest of this talented, cohesive staff.

~ Darren Hertz

Statement from Billy Donovan:

"Darren and I have worked together for 19 years. There is not a more loyal person. Illinois is getting an extremely talented and gifted individual who will bring great value to everyone in so many different ways. I am excited for Darren, John (Groce), and Fighting Illini basketball!"

~ Billy Donovan

Hertz won't be considered a 'full-time assistant' in his new role, which means he's prohibited from participating in off campus recruiting. His primary function will be assisting John Groce in the overall day-to-day operations of the program. According to the actual job posting, some of his responsibilities will be the following.

  • Assist Director of Basketball Operations with budget management

  • Liaison between head coach to DIA administration as it relates to the sport of men's basketball

  • Coordinate and organize recruiting board including specific prospects, scheduling both off-site and on-campus recruiting visits by prospective student athletes

  • Coordinate all advance scouting for opponents through DVSport Software and Synergy Sports Tech. Maintain working knowledge of scouting, recruiting and video software

  • Construct and develop the annual schedule for opponents in conjunction with head coach

  • Connect with all current Illinois high school coaches on a monthly basis keeping them up-to-date with the latest news and notes with the Illinois basketball program

  • Connect with all former players, coaches and managers on a monthly basis keeping them up-to-date with the latest news and notes with the Illinois basketball program


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