Chat

 Matt Bollant had a 148-19 record in five years at Green Bay.
New Illinois women's basketball coach Matt Bollant entered the chat room at 4 p.m. today. Bollant brings a 282-55 record, including a 148-19 record in five years at Green Bay. Checkout the chat recap.
Matt Bollant: Glad to be here and am ready to answer your questions.

Jim (Champaign): What do you know about the Illini team you're inheriting? You played (and beat) them this year, but what were your impressions?
Matt Bollant: They have a high level of athleticism, but need to become more skilled offensively. Defensively, they need to be more sound with the little things.

Dave (Winona, Minn.): Congrats! Looking back on your career, what do you think is the main catalyst for your rise from Winona State, to HS coach, to Asst. and on up?
Matt Bollant: I would have to say recruiting and coaching high integrity, high energy kids.

Shannon, CHampagne: Who will your assistant coaches be?
Matt Bollant: I'm currently working through that process and will take my time to find the right people.

Palatine: How would you characterize your style of play? Do you envision adapting your style initially at Illinois to the abilities of the Illini players?
Matt Bollant: We will run a little more dribble motion rather than four out one in to fit the personnel here.

Bernie: Do you think the current team has talent equal to or better than the Green Bay team
Matt Bollant: It's too early to tell on that. The Green Bay team is more skilled. That's something we hope to build with this team.

Roy Champaign: How does it feel to be here? How do you plan on bringing the success you've had at Wisconsin- Green Bay to Illinois and are you excited with the challenge of bring Illinois back from the dead and resurrecting it into a well known name?
Matt Bollant: It feels great to be here. We will do it one day at a time and control what we can control.

Cary Champaign: First off welcome Coach Bollant and family. My question is will you and your staff reach out and try to get the former Illinois players involved with your program?
Matt Bollant: Yes. We will work on building good relationships with our alumni. Making them feel valued is important to me.

Hoops fan (Urbana): Welcome to the Illini, Matt. We are happy to have you wearing orange and blue. Looking forward to watching some women's hoops again. Do you have a preference about which arena to play in? The team moved to the Assembly Hall under coach Grentz because a number of games were selling out at Huff Gym. However, attendance has dropped drastically under her successor and the atmosphere at Assembly Hall is very poor when only a few hundred fans show up. Might we see a return to Huff?
Matt Bollant: It's too early to tell. For recruiting purposes, I'd like to stay in Assembly Hall. We hope to one day have big enough crowds that we can't fit them in Huff.

Ellen (Raleigh, NC): Welcome to Illinois! Based on what you know about the state of the team/program, what are your challenges in rebuilding the program?
Matt Bollant: Building cultures such as work ethic and the ability to practice hard every day and sacrifice for the program.

Champaign: What part of the game do you plan on emphasizing the most as head coach of the Illini?
Matt Bollant: Practice right. Play right. We have to practice the right way before we will look right in games.

Emily (Winona): How do the current Illini players fit into your style of offense?
Matt Bollant: They fit in really well with the dribble motion. We'll find out more when we practice tomorrow.

Rachel (Chicago): What's your first impressions of the city of Champaign?
Matt Bollant: Really like it. Love the people and love the values of a Midwest town.

David (Decatur): What do you like to do outside of coaching during your free time.
Matt Bollant: I like to play golf and be around my family.

shelby menge, jacksonville il: When will you meet the players on the illini team?
Matt Bollant: I met them this morning for an hour and we'll have a 90-minute practice tomorrow.

Park Ridge: Not a question per se, but just a Welcome to Illinois! We're fortunate to have you here. Best of luck to you and the team.

Jeff Potrykus (Madison, WI): Matt, no question. Just wanted to say congrats on the opportunity. Perhaps we'll see you when the Illini swing through Madison.

shelby mnege jacksonville il: Wecome coach glad you are here to coach the illini.
Matt Bollant: Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm looking forward to meeting more people in the Illini family. Being involved in the community is really important for me.

KD: How long do you think it will take to turn this team around?
Matt Bollant: It all depends on how long it will take to build the culture. It's hard to know, but I know it will happen.

Shannon: Just wanted to say welcome to Coach Bollant. We are so glad you are here!
Matt Bollant: Again. Thanks for all the questions and well wishes. I am really excited to be a part of the Illini. It has been great day for our family.

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