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More Reports Are Confirming that John Groce Is Now the Head Coach of Akron

Groce is back in the MAC!

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Akron v Utah State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Two ESPN writers are quoting sources (or the same source) and making it quasi-official that John Groce is now the head coach of the Akron Zips.

You can read the Andy Katz version here.

And you can read the Jeff Goodman version here.

With two different writers, I don’t think we will get a retraction like we did with coach Whitford taking the Duquesne job that ended up going to coach Dambrot.

After only winning 56% of his games, and not making the NCAA tournament after his first season, John Groce was relieved of his duties at Illinois.

His team’s record was mediocre in his 5 seasons with the Illini, and their expectations are higher in Champaign. Now he is Akron’s answer to the departure of Keith Dambrot as the head honcho.

In a way, this could be fantastic news for the entire MAC. Groce led teams have made it to 3 NCAA tournaments, two at Ohio and one at Illinois. They have never bowed out in the first round. More impressively, while with Ohio, he knocked off a three and a four seed, and was a free throw from knocking off a 1 seed and earning a trip the elite 8.

If the MAC is ever going to consistently get more than one bid to the NCAA tournament, they are going to need to win big games in the non-conference and in the tournament. Groce has proven he can do that.