Bollant reaction: 'It's a terrific hire'

Bollant reaction: 'It's a terrific hire'

What they were saying about Matt Bollant's move to Illinois:

— "I have known Matt since his days at Evansville. He is a man of integrity and loves to teach the game. I am happy to see him be given this opportunity, and I look forward to watching the program he builds here in Champaign-Urbana as a friend and as a fan." — Chris Mennig, a former Illini assistant who took a sabbatical from St. Thomas More's girls' team this season to assist with the Arizona State women's program.

— "It sounds like the Illini have made a great hire in Matt Bollant, as he has had success wherever he has coached. His teams have dominated the Horizon League, gone toe-to-toe with the big-name schools and been regulars in the NCAA tourney. Hopefully he can breathe life into the women's basketball program at Illinois." — Karrie Redeker (above), Parkland College women's basketball head coach.

— "I don't even know him. I don't think I've ever talked to him before." — Corry Carter, the coach of Chicago Whitney Young's 2012 unbeaten Class 4A state championship team.

— "I can't argue with his successes. It's a great hire. It's nice to see these midmajor coaches get a chance to step up at a big-time program." — Tony Konsewicz of Niles West, who coached The News-Gazette 2012 All-State Player of the Year, Jewell Loyd.

— "Knowing how well he has done, you have to think it's a good hire. Emmonnie (Henderson, uncommitted junior All-Stater) had pretty much written them off and is down to 10 schools. I'm not sure she will be open enough to give them a chance. I will speak with her. I, for one, would love to see Illinois moving up in the Big Ten and nationally." — Lori Blade, whose 2012 Edwardsville team was the Class 4A state runner-up.

— "Matt Bollant is a great hire for Illinois because of the regional connections he has in the Midwest. He's a coach that's similar to our associate head coach Vic Schaefer in getting a chance at his first BCS job. He'll do great in the Big Ten because his knowledge of the game is outstanding, and he gets kids to play hard." — Texas A&M coach GARY BLAIR.

— "It's a terrific hire. Matt is a proven winner. He has done so much in his short time at Green Bay and before. He is a terrific coach and more importantly, a terrific guy. Matt and his staff will do a terrific job going after those (state) recruits and will make the UI program what it once was." — STEPHANIE WHITE, BTN analyst and former National Player of the Year at Purdue.

— "I'm very happy for Matt. He's a first-class person. First and foremost, he's a very good guy. I have not coached against many tougher teams in my career than the Green Bay team we faced in the NCAA tournament. Illinois made an excellent choice. I think he is a coach at the very top of our profession, and I think he'll do a great job at Illinois." — Kentucky coach MATTHEW MITCHELL (above).

— "I think it's a great decision X and O wise. He's a great game coach. My take on players going there or not is this: U of I wasn't getting the players before, so this can't hurt. I'm very excited about the move. Winning cures all recruiting woes, and I feel this coach will be great." — EDDIE STRITZEL, River Forest Trinity coach.

— "I don't know him personally but have talked to his assistants. I know looking at his credentials, he should be a good fit for the U of I. Hopefully, he will get it turned around. As all coaches know, if you have the players and they are willing to work, good things will happen." — BRAD SCHEFFLER, Springfield High coach.

— "I am a graduate of the U of I. I don't know Coach Bollant, but he certainly has an impressive resume. I hope he can continue his winning ways and his success at Illinois. I have been disappointed in the last several seasons with the Illini women, so I am excited and hopeful for a positive change. I will look forward to this new era of Illinois women's basketball. I do think Coach is correct that there is a world of talent within the state to be successful at the major college level. I have had no contact with Illinois staff concerning Sarah (Livingston, junior All-Stater), so I don't think they have been interested." — BOB BECKER, Morton High coach.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments