Illini to Face Iowa on Thursday at 10:30 am in First Game of Tourney
Brandon Paul led the scoring for Illinois with 22 points.
Illini Looking for Fourth win at Kohl Center in last Eight Years
Meyers Leonard led the scoring for Illinois with 18 points
Final Home Game for Maniscalco, Selus
Photos from Illinois' 64-61 loss to Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament (photos by Mark Jones and AP)
Illinois vs. Michigan March 1, 2012
Illinois vs. Iowa Feb. 26, 2012
AP Photos: Illinois at No. 8 Ohio State
Photos from the Illinois-Purdue basketball game in Champaign, Ill., on Feb. 15, 2012. (photos by Mark Cowan)
Bruce Weber served as the head coach of Illinois basketball for nine seasons from 2004-2012. During that time, the Fighting Illini basketball program experienced unprecedented success both in the Big Ten and nationally under Weber.
Illinois totaled 210 victories from 2004-12, ranking third on the Illinois career coaching wins list. He won 67.5 percent of his games while in charge of the Fighting Illini (210-101).
Weber has won a total of 313 games during his 14-year coaching tenure, the 11th-most victories by a coach in NCAA history through his first 13 seasons, and owns a 66.9 percent winning percentage overall (313-155).
Illinois had two Big Ten Championships (2004, 2005), two runner-up finishes (2006, 2009) and seven upper-division finishes during Weber's nine seasons in Champaign-Urbana.
Weber is actively involved with USA Basketball for the 2009-2012 quadrennium. Weber serves on the Men's Junior National Committee, which selects coaches and athletes for USA Basketball college-aged competitions, including the World University Games, FIBA U19 World Championships, FIBA Americas U18 Championships and Pan American Games.
Weber recorded his seventh 20-win season with the Illini in 2010-11. Illinois was ranked in the Top 25 for more than half of the season and finished tied for fourth in a competitive Big Ten race that resulted in the conference having a record-tying seven teams participate in the NCAA Tournament. With its NCAA second-round victory over UNLV, Illinois defeated a higher-seeded team for the second time in school history and recorded its first Tournament win since 2006. Illinois finished the year ranked 18th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings and 25th in Jeff Sagarin's ratings.
Weber earned a solid reputation in the college ranks and with NBA personnel as a coach who stresses player development and fosters an unselfish brand of basketball where the most important facet is team chemistry. Weber strives for an up-tempo motion offense coupled with hard-nosed man-to-man defense, traits that translate well to the NBA game.
Illinois has had four players selected in the NBA Draft under Weber, as Deron Williams (No. 3, Utah Jazz) and Luther Head (No. 24, Houston Rockets) were taken in the first round of the 2005 Draft, and James Augustine (No. 41, Orlando Magic) and Dee Brown (No. 46, Utah Jazz) were chosen in the second round of the 2006 Draft. Utah's selection of Williams at No. 3 overall in the 2005 lottery made him the highest-drafted player in Illinois history.
Weber's seventh Illini squad in 2009-10 tallied 21 victories - including six wins over Top 25 opponents - a winning record in conference play, and advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals.
Weber's 2008-09 UI squad was one of the most improved teams in the country. With 10 more regular season victories than it achieved the year before, Illinois posted the third-biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I and the second-biggest turnaround among BCS programs on the year. The Illini recorded 24 wins, ranking as the 10th-winningest season in school history. Illinois was the Big Ten runner-up, earned a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, and finished the year ranked 24th in the Pomeroy rankings.
The 2008-09 UI squad was best known for its team-first style of play. Illinois led the nation in assist rate, recording assists on an impressive 69.3 percent of its baskets on the season. The Illini also led the Big Ten and ranked seventh nationally in assists, averaging 17.5 apg.
After suffering a string of close losses during the 2007-08 season, Illinois came on strong to win four of its last five and five of its final seven games, culminating with a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Tournament. Weber's Illini became the first No. 10 seed in the tournament's history to advance to the title game, winning three games in three days with victories over Penn State, No. 17 Purdue and Minnesota to reach the championship game vs. No. 8 Wisconsin.
With a depleted roster that had six different players combine to miss a total of 58 games due to injury during the 2006-07 season, the Illini still advanced to the NCAA Tournament and recorded 23 victories on the year, marking Weber's fourth-straight season topping the 20-win plateau at Illinois and sixth straight overall.
Despite losing three starters and 63 percent of its scoring from the 2004-05 NCAA runner-up squad, Weber directed the 2005-06 Illini to a third-consecutive 25-win season, a runner-up finish in the Big Ten, the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and a ranking among the nation's top 17 teams throughout the entire season. The Illini spent the majority of 2005-06 ranked in the Top 10 and recorded 26 wins on the year to tie the fourth-winningest season in school history.
Weber's second year at Illinois, the 2004-05 season, will be remembered as the greatest in Fighting Illini history, in a remarkable year where Illinois celebrated its centennial season of basketball. The Illini reeled off 29 straight wins to start the year, tying the 12th-best start in NCAA Div. I history and the third-best start in Big Ten history. Illinois also secured its second-straight outright Big Ten championship with a 15-1 league record, as Weber became the first coach in Big Ten history to win consecutive outright titles in his first two seasons. Illinois then added a Big Ten Tournament championship in addition to its regular season title.
Illinois won 37 games on the year to tie the NCAA record for victories in a season. The UI made its first Final Four appearance in 16 years and advanced to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history, finishing as the national runner-up. The Illini were ranked No. 1 in the nation for 15 straight weeks, including a first-ever No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.
With all that Illinois accomplished during the season, it is no surprise that Weber swept the 2005 National Coach of the Year awards, claiming the following: the Naismith Award, the most prestigious coaching award in college basketball; the Henry Iba Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association; and, the Adolph F. Rupp Cup. Weber was also named National Coach of the Year by the NABC, Associated Press, The Sporting News, Basketball Times, CBS/Chevrolet, Victor Awards and Nike Championship Basketball Clinic.
It took just one season for Weber to etch his name in the Big Ten and Illinois record books after leading the Fighting Illini to its first outright Big Ten title in 52 years during the 2003-04 season. In leading his young team that featured just one senior on the roster, Weber became just the third coach in the history of the Big Ten to win an outright title in his first season. Illinois had to win 10 straight to end the regular season to claim the championship, including six-straight wins on the road.
Illinois' 26 wins in 2003-04 tied the fourth-winningest season in school history. Weber also led the Illini to the Sweet 16 with NCAA Tournament victories over Murray State and Cincinnati.
Weber took charge as the 16th Fighting Illini men's basketball coach on April 30, 2003, after spending the previous five seasons as head coach at Southern Illinois University. He led the Salukis to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference with championships in 2002 and 2003 before continuing the trend at Illinois where the Illini won outright Big Ten titles in each of his first two seasons.
Energetic and personable, Weber has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs. Fame and success have not changed him, as he remains generous and humble. On road trips, no job is beneath him as he often helps team managers load the bus or passes out drinks and sandwiches to his players and staff. Weber's warm personality has made him a popular figure in the state of Illinois, as he is a frequent guest at civic clubs, booster club meetings, golf outings and many other speaking engagements.
Weber also is involved in a number of charities, most notably Coaches vs. Cancer (CvC). He has been one of the nation's most active coaches in the program, currently serving on the organization's Council, and was the recipient of the 2007 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award.
In his five seasons at SIU, Weber took the Saluki program to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference, winning league titles in 2002 and 2003. He posted records of 28-8 and 24-7 in his last two seasons, leading the Salukis to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2002 with wins over Texas Tech and Georgia at the United Center in Chicago. His .689 (62-28) winning percentage in MVC play ranked 12th in the long history of the league. Weber earned Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors following the 2003 season.
The trademark of Bruce Weber-led teams has been fundamentally sound defense, holding opponents to less than 43 percent shooting for each of the last 10 seasons, led by 39.5 percent field goal percentage defense in 2009, 40 percent seven times (2002-03, 2006-08, 2010-11), 41 percent in 2005 and 42 percent in 2004.
Illinois has led the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense during conference play each of the last three seasons and has topped the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense two of the last three years. In 2011, Illinois' Big Ten opponents shot just 39.6 percent from the field and 29.9 percent from 3-point range. That followed the 2010 conference season when UI opponents shot just 39 percent overall.
Illinois led the Big Ten and ranked third in the nation in scoring defense in 2009, holding opponents to an average of 57.2 points. The Illini were 19th nationally in field goal percentage defense and led the Big Ten in all three major categories during conference play: scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense.
In 2008, the Illini were 19th in the NCAA in scoring defense and 24th in field goal percentage defense. Illinois led the Big Ten and ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense in 2007, allowing just 57.1 points. Illinois also led the conference and ranked 11th nationally in scoring defense in 2006, giving up an average of only 58.7 points.
On the offensive end, Illinois has averaged 70 points or more in five of Weber's eight seasons, leading the Big Ten in scoring in 2004 (72.8 ppg) and ranking second in 2005 (77.0 ppg). Weber's final two SIU teams, meanwhile, averaged 75.5 points (2002) and 74.5 points (2003).
Weber has 32 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level with one season at Western Kentucky under Gene Keady before moving with the long-time Boilermaker coach to West Lafayette the following year. He was named the Southern Illinois head coach prior to the 1998-99 season. In his one season at Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers won the Ohio Valley Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In Weber's 18 years at Purdue, the Boilermakers won six Big Ten titles, played in 14 NCAA Tournaments and made three NIT appearances. His association with Keady also allowed Weber to gain experience on the international level. He was an assistant coach for the USA Team at the World University Games in 1989 and head court coach for the Pan American team trials in 1991. Weber assisted Keady in preparation for the Jones Cup, World University Games and Pan American Games.
Born Oct. 19, 1956, the Milwaukee native began his career as a volunteer assistant coach at Madison High School in Milwaukee and a varsity assistant at Marquette University High School.
Weber earned a bachelor's degree in education from Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1978 and a master's degree in education administration and physical education from Western Kentucky in 1981.
Bruce and his wife, Megan, have three daughters, Hannah, Christy and Emily.
The Bruce Weber File
Born: Oct. 19, 1956 Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis. High School: Milwaukee Marshall (1974) College: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (B.S., education, 1978); Western Kentucky University (M.S., education administration and physical education, 1981) Family: Wife, Megan; Daughters, Hannah, Christy and Emily Coaching Experience: 1980 Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach 1981-98 Purdue University, Assistant Coach 1999-2003 Southern Illinois, Head Coach 2004- 12 University of Illinois, Head Coach
Bruce Weber's Career Coaching Record
Year Position School All/Conf. Post-Season 1979-80 Assistant Coach Western Kentucky 21-8/10-2 NCAA 1st Round, OVC Champs 1980-81 Assistant Coach Purdue 21-11/10-9 NIT Final Four 1981-82 Assistant Coach Purdue 18-14/11-7 NIT Runner-up 1982-83 Assistant Coach Purdue 21-9/11-7 NCAA 2nd Round 1983-84 Assistant Coach Purdue 22-7/15-3 NCAA 2nd Round, Big Ten Champs 1984-85 Assistant Coach Purdue 20-9/11-7 NCAA 1st Round 1985-86 Assistant Coach Purdue 22-10/11-7 NCAA 1st Round 1986-87 Assistant Coach Purdue 25-5/15-3 NCAA 2nd Round, Big Ten Champs 1987-88 Assistant Coach Purdue 29-4/16-2 NCAA Sweet 16, Big Ten Champs 1988-89 Assistant Coach Purdue 15-16/8-10 1989-90 Assistant Coach Purdue 22-8/13-5 NCAA 2nd Round 1990-91 Assistant Coach Purdue 17-12/9-9 NCAA 1st Round 1991-92 Assistant Coach Purdue 18-15/8-10 NIT 1992-93 Assistant Coach Purdue 18-10/9-9 NCAA 1st Round 1993-94 Assistant Coach Purdue 29-5/14-4 NCAA Elite Eight, Big Ten Champs 1994-95 Assistant Coach Purdue 25-7/15-3 NCAA 2nd Round, Big Ten Champs 1995-96 Assistant Coach Purdue 26-6/15-3 NCAA 2nd Round, Big Ten Champs 1996-97 Assistant Coach Purdue 18-12/12-6 NCAA 2nd Round 1997-98 Assistant Coach Purdue 28-8/12-4 NCAA Sweet 16 1998-99 Head Coach Southern Illinois 15-12/10-8 1999-2000 Head Coach Southern Illinois 20-13/12-6 NIT 2000-01 Head Coach Southern Illinois 16-14/10-8 2001-02 Head Coach Southern Illinois 28-8/14-4 NCAA Sweet 16, MVC Champs 2002-03 Head Coach Southern Illinois 24-7/16-2 NCAA 1st Round, MVC Champs 2003-04 Head Coach Illinois 26-7/13-3 NCAA Sweet 16, Big Ten Champs 2004-05 Head Coach Illinois 37-2/15-1 NCAA Runner-Up, Big Ten Champs, Big Ten Tourney Champs 2005-06 Head Coach Illinois 26-7/11-5 NCAA 2nd Round 2006-07 Head Coach Illinois 23-12/9-7 NCAA 1st Round 2007-08 Head Coach Illinois 16-19/5-13 2008-09 Head Coach Illinois 24-10/11-7 NCAA 1st Round 2009-10 Head Coach Illinois 21-15/10-8 NIT Quarterfinal 2010-11 Head Coach Illinois 20-14/9-9 NCAA 3rd Round 2010-11 Head Coach Illinois 17-15/6-12