Butler coach Chris Holtmann isn’t a fan of Fighting Illini basketball’s coaching change. In fact, he actually seemed pretty fired up when asked about the situations at Illinois and Indiana in a recent interview with Campus Insiders.
Here’s what he had to say about the Fighting Illini:
“Do I disagree with those decisions? Absolutely. Absolutely I do. Am I biased? Do I disagree with the decision at Illinois? Absolutely. They don’t care, but I know how hard [John Groce] works and how committed he was to his players and that he was really close to turning a corner.”
John Groce did work very hard! That’s a good thing, too, because Illinois was paying him upwards of $1.3 million per year. But coaching is a results-driven business, and Groce repeatedly failed to meet the program’s minimum expectations.
This comment shouldn’t really come as a surprise, though, because Holtmann continues to maintain a fairly well-documented relationship with Groce. You can’t exactly fault him for sticking up for a close friend.
Unrelated — we can probably go right ahead and eliminate Chris Holtmann’s name from consideration for the Illinois job. Not that he was even being talked about, mind you.