Illinois Coaching Search: Reggie Theus 'Waits In The Wings' If John Groce Negotiations Fall Through

Just when it appeared the long, drawn out process of finding a new head coach for the Illinois Fighting Illini had reached a conclusion, another wrench was thrown in the proceedings. It looked like Ohio coach John Groce would be the next head man at Illinois, with reports stating a press conference was already scheduled for Monday afternoon. Then it never happened. Reports Monday night state the process has been stalled, though we have conflicting reports on why. One says it's simple contract negotiations. Another says it could be because some board of trustees members would prefer an African-American coach.


Related: Illinois Coaching Search: John Groce Agrees To Terms With Illinois, According To Report

Enter Reggie Theus. According to the Chicago Tribune, Theus is 'waiting in the wings' should the Groce negotiations fall apart.

Unlike Groce, Theus is an African-American, which should appease board members who badly wanted VCU's Shaka Smart in Champaign Say the Trib:

If negotiations fall apart with Groce, a source said Theus is confident he will be next in line. Theus, who played for the Bulls and coached at New Mexico State and for the NBA's Kings, has backing from board members and from former Illinois coach Lou Henson.

Theus is a former Chicago Bulls guard who last coached the NBA's Sacramento Kings from 2007-2008.

For more on this story, stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini check out Hail to the Orange. For more news and notes around the country, stick with SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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