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Akron agrees to five-year extension with men’s basketball head coach John Groce

The Zips put pen to paper on a contract to keep the former Illinois and Ohio head man after 15-8 finish in 2020-21.

NCAA Basketball: MAC Conference Tournament - Akron vs Bowling Green State Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Akron released a statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing a tentative agreement to a five-year extension with current head men’s basketball coach John Groce, pending Board of Directors approval.

“I am delighted to know that Coach Groce will be with us for the foreseeable future,” University of Akron President Gary L. Miller said via press release. “He is not only a great basketball coach but also a university team player, a mentor to many student athletes and a great teacher. I look forward to working with him in the future to advance the mission of the University.”

The extension will last through the conclusion of the 2026 season.

Groce, who has compiled a 70-49 record over the last four seasons at the helm, guided the Zips to a 15-8 (12-6 MAC) in the 2020-21 season. The Zips were MAC regular-season champions in the 2019-20 season, holding a 24-7 (14-4 MAC) record prior to the cancellation of the MAC and NCAA Tournaments due to COVID-19, with a 24-7 overall record.

The Zips are coming off a season where they finished third in the league standings, securing the third-seed in the 2021 MAC Championship Tournament before falling to the second-seeded Buffalo Bulls in the semifinals.

“I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, President Gary Miller and Director of Athletics Larry Williams for the commitment they have made to our program,” Groce said via press release. “I often say ‘It Takes a Village’ and this extension is really a reflection of the outstanding job our student-athletes, staff and support staff have done over the last four years. We have a lot of positive momentum and are excited for the opportunity to add to that moving forward.”

The 2021-22 season will be Groce’s 26th season in collegiate hoops, appearing in the postseason in 18 of his 23 opportunities, including six regular season conference championships, seven conference tournament championships, six Round of 32 appearances, and one appearance each in the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and national championship.