Ohio University

Illinois fires coach John Groce after 18-14 season

Illinois basketball coach John Groce was fired Saturday after an 18-14 season in which his team was ninth in the Big Ten. The Illini made just one NCAA appearance in his five seasons at the school.

Assistant Jamall Walker was appointed interim coach while the school searches for a successor. Groce has two years left on his contract and will receive the balance, about $1.7 million.

"I've been evaluating the basketball program since I walked in the door a year ago. This wasn't the culmination of one game. It wasn't a single moment where, 'This is it; this can't continue,' " athletic director Josh Whitman said at a news conference. "It was an assessment that...