Getting fired can be a great career move.
Things can happen fast in college sports, but even by that standard Bruce Weber's hiring at Kansas State moved at warp speed.
No one should be particularly surprised that Weber landed a new job. Just a few weeks after his dismissal from the University of Illinois, he was considering several offers.
Then, four days after Kansas State coach Frank Martin grabbed a bigger paycheck by taking the South Carolina job, Weber was hired as Martin's replacement. Obviously, he got a big boost from his old boss, retired Purdue coach and Kansas State graduate Gene Keady, but Weber's record and reputation can stand on their own.
Aggrieved Fighting Illini fans might be surprised to read that, particularly after this past season's disappointments. But Weber's teams at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and the UI won big, went to NCAA tournaments and steered clear of problems with the NCAA. That's the mark of a successful head coach.
Ironically, Weber's dismissal at Illinois has produced a financial bonanza. He'll not only be getting paid by the UI for the next three years, but also he'll collect a big paycheck from Kansas State, effectively doubling his income to $3 million year.
Of course, as Weber leaves the UI, two top-flight coaches — John Groce and Matt Bollant — have arrived to run the men's and women's programs, respectively.
Former Ohio University coach John Groce brings an impressive resume and a reputation for energy and enthusiasm to his job replacing Weber.
As for the women's program, former Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Matt Bollant was a big winner (148-19) at his old school and looks to be exactly the kind of coach needed to resurrect the Fighting Illini's women's program.
UI sports fans welcome the new coaches and their families to the community and wish them — along with Coach Weber — the best.