Bollant: 'Great things are ahead for our program'

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois, which hasn't made the NCAA women's basketball tournament since 2003, is hoping Matt Bollant can end the drought.

Wildly successful at Green Bay, Bollant was introduced as the Illini's eighth coach at a news conference this morning on campus.

"Great things are ahead for our program," Bollant said.

Athletic director Mike Thomas, who also is conducting a search for a men's basketball coach, introduced Bollant at a news conference that included Illinois football coach Tim Beckman and a gaggle of reporters.

Said Thomas: "It's hard to find a coach in the country with a better reputation for winning than Matt Bollant."

Bollant said improved practice habits will turn Illinois into a better product and that the Assembly Hall will fill up as a result. As far as playing in Huff Hall, Bollant said: "I'm hoping we're too big for Huff. This is a project."

 

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Illinialum08 wrote on March 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Bollant is a good coach, I am concerned about his somewhat dry, and impersonable demeanor, and his ability to successfully recruit chicago.  Although my interaction with him was brief, I didn't walk away with a sense that he was interested in making a connection with a chicago area H.S. coach.  He didn't know where my school was or anything about us.  Maybe recruiting chicago isn't a big deal on the women's side, but Im not sure the 2nd and 3rd tier athletes from the state of WI will be able to turn this program around.  From a basketball standpoint, I will be interested to see if he continues to use the "Buzz" defense, and how effective it will be against better athletes.  My impression of GB has always been a "mid major that you dont want to play."  Borseth at Michigan is a good indicator of what is to come, better, but not winning a winnable Big Ten.  As an alum of U of I as well as the WBB program, and as a current H.S. coach in Chicago, this hire does not inspire me to bring kids to campus.  I will be watching this situation closely and am curious to see if he brings his staff from GB with him.  Given the current Illini roster, I hope he plans on adding some diversity to his staff, as his GB staff severely lacked any diversity at all....#watchfuleye 

griff507 wrote on March 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

This is exactly what is wrong with every ILLINI program! The man has not even had time to find the Assembly Hall, and we have alums and h.s. coaches brow beating him. Do you really wonder why coaches don't want to come here? The man is a first rate coach, check his record, at WGB. Just in case you have not figured it out, and you haven't, Chicago is not the be all end all for recruiting. There are kids playing BB all over this country, not just in the Chicago public league. Bollant has done a lot better, with less talent, than Law ever thought of doing, and she loved Chicago.  How about giving the guy a fair shot, BEFORE trying to pick him apart.

Go ILL-INI!

Jam wrote on March 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm

If this guy can win the home games, he will be off to a good start. That is the problem with every coach that has left every program at Illinois under a dark cloud over their head.  Protect home court and pick off some other games along the way and they will be successful . 


The first post is just terrible.  I am assuming this was for real or was it someone  fooling aroung.  One cannot always tell.  The new coach knows what he has to do. 


I for one am happy that they went for a winner. It sounds like he will work his players hard.  His style speaks for itself with the success that he has shown in the past. 


Diversity is really getting to be a worn out topic.  Particularly when you look at the basketball teams at Illinois and in the NCAA tournaments.  The AA athlete has made it their game.  It is everyone else that has to make a come back.  Luckily there are plenty of Dutch and German folk running around.  They tend to be tall and can make great basketball players too.


 


 


 


 


 

dave1956 wrote on March 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. Im getting really sick of that word diversity. Its just a code word for reverse discrimination. If you are white, bald, and dont like to recruit the chicago public league cesspool than you are automatically disqualified for being a head coach at Illinois.We hired an African American coach in Jolette Law and look where that got us. She couldnt coach her way out of a paper bag.
Its high time Illinois hired the best basketball coach regardless of color. Illinois hired the best up and coming coach in america.
Im sure it upset the 2 racist members of the committee that he wasnt a minority BUT TOUGH.

Oak Park Illini wrote on March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

Agreed, Dave. And this is an African American responding to you. The goal is to get the best coach possible, and if it happens to be African-American, great. If not, that's great too, as long as at the end of the day we got the best candidate for the job.