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Butler coach Chris Holtmann is not happy about Illinois’ decision to fire John Groce

The Bulldogs’ coach discussed the Illinois and Indiana openings with Campus Insider.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

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.