John Groce

Last updated
John Groce
20130126 John Groce.jpg
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Akron
Conference MAC
Record70–49
Biographical details
Born (1971-09-07) September 7, 1971 (age 49)
Muncie, Indiana
Playing career
1991–1994 Taylor
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1993–1996 Taylor (assistant)
1996–2000 NC State (assistant)
2000–2001 Butler (assistant)
2001–2004 Xavier (assistant)
2004–2008 Ohio State (assistant)
2008–2012 Ohio
2012–2017 Illinois
2017–present Akron
Head coaching record
Overall250–180
Tournaments4–3 (NCAA Division I)
3–3 (NIT)
1–1 (CIT)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 MAC Tournament (2010, 2012)
MAC regular season (2020)
MAC East Division (2020)
Awards
MAC Coach of the Year (2020)

John Gordon Groce ( /ɡrs/ ; [1] born September 7, 1971) is an American college basketball coach, currently the head coach for the Akron Zips men's basketball team. Prior to coaching for Akron, he was the head coach at Illinois and Ohio.

Contents

Player and assistant coach

Groce graduated from Taylor University, an NAIA Division II school in Upland, Indiana, in 1994 and played basketball for the school while he was there. [2] Groce started his coaching career as an assistant with his alma mater, Taylor University, under Paul Patterson from 1993 to 1996. His next job was an assistant at North Carolina State under Herb Sendek from 1996 to 2000. He then moved on to Butler as an assistant to Thad Matta and was there just one season (2000–01). When Matta accepted the head coaching position at Xavier, Groce went with him and served as an assistant from 2001 to 2004, before moving again with Matta when he was named as the head coach of Ohio State. He served as an assistant from 2004 to 2008.

Ohio University

Groce was named the head coach at Ohio University on June 27, 2008, replacing Tim O'Shea, who resigned to take the head coach position at Bryant University. [3] [4]

In his first year, the Bobcats finished 7–9 in Mid-American Conference play and failed to qualify for postseason play. The team's overall record improved the following year, but the Bobcats finished with another 7–9 record. However, the Bobcats went on a run in the MAC Tournament, winning the championship as the No. 9 seed. As a result, the Bobcats received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They received a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region and Groce led the Bobcats to an upset win over No. 12-ranked and No. 3-seeded Georgetown in the First Round. They then lost in the Second Round to Tennessee.

In 2011, the Bobcats increased their conference record to 9–7 and earned a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). A first round victory over Marshall preceded a loss to East Tennessee State in the CIT Quarterfinals.

In 2012, Groce led the Bobcats to an 11–5 conference record and another MAC Tournament championship. As the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Bobcats received a No. 13 seed. In the Tournament, Ohio defeated No. 4-seeded Michigan and No. 12-seeded South Florida to earn a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Ohio's first trip to the Sweet Sixteen since 1964. [5] In the Sweet Sixteen, they pushed No. 1-seed North Carolina to overtime before losing 73–65. [6]

In four seasons at Ohio, Groce was 85–56 overall and 34–30 in Mid-American Conference games. [1] [7]

University of Illinois

Groce finalized negotiations to become the men's basketball head coach at the University of Illinois on March 28, 2012, after both Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens declined interest in the position. [7] [8]

The Illini started 12–0 in 2013 under Groce, the best start for a first-year coach in the team's modern era. [9] The team won the 2012 Maui Invitational by defeating Butler in the championship game. Illinois finished the year 23–13, but with a losing conference record at 8–10. The Illini did receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament advancing to the Third Round (formerly known as the Second Round) before losing to No. 2-seeded Miami.

During their 2014 season, Illinois' success in the month of November improved to 21–0 under Groce. Until losing five non-conference games in the 2015-16 season, Illinois was the only program in the nation with an undefeated November record, dating back to 2011. [10] The Illini would slip however, finishing 20–15, 7–11 in Big Ten play and failing to make the NCAA Tournament. They did receive a bid to the NIT advancing to the second round.

The Illini continued to struggle in 2015, finishing 19–14, 9–9 and again failing to make the NCAA Tournament. They did receive a bid to the NIT where they lost in the first round.

Before the end of their 2016 season, new Illinois AD Josh Whitman gave John Groce a vote of confidence, praising his leadership and stating that "John Groce is going to continue to be our basketball coach." [11] However, the Illini finished the season 15–19, 5–13.

The Illini fared better in 2017, finishing 20–15, 8–10. The team did win four in a row toward the end of the season leading to talks of an NCAA Tournament bid, but a loss at Rutgers in the final regular season game likely ended their Tournament hopes. [12] On March 11, 2017, John Groce was relieved of his duties, two days after the Illini lost its Big Ten Tournament opening-round game to Michigan. [13] Following Groce's dismissal, the Illini advanced to the NIT quarterfinals before losing to UCF. He was eventually replaced by Oklahoma State head coach, Brad Underwood.

From 2013 to 2016, Groce reversed Illinois' prior four-game losing streak in the annual Braggin' Rights interstate rivalry against Missouri by winning the contest for four straight seasons.

University of Akron

Following his dismissal from Illinois, Groce was hired on April 5, 2017 to become the new head coach of the Akron Zips. [14] [15] [16]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseason
Ohio Bobcats (Mid-American Conference)(2008–2012)
2008–09 Ohio 15–177–96th (East)
2009–10 Ohio 22–157–95th (East) NCAA Division I Second Round
2010–11 Ohio 19–169–73rd (East) CIT Quarterfinal
2011–12 Ohio 29–811–53rd (East) NCAA Division I Sweet 16
Ohio:85–56 (.603)34–30 (.531)
Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference)(2012–2017)
2012–13 Illinois 23–138–10T–7th NCAA Division I Second Round
2013–14 Illinois 20–157–11T–8th NIT Second Round
2014–15 Illinois 19–149–9T–7th NIT First Round
2015–16 Illinois 15–195–1312th
2016–17 Illinois 18–148–109th NIT Quarterfinal
Illinois:95–75 (.559)37–53 (.411)
Akron Zips (Mid-American Conference)(2017–Present)
2017–18 Akron 14–186–126th (East)
2018–19 Akron 17–168–104th (East)
2019–20 Akron 24–714–41st (East)
2020-21 Akron 15–812–6T–3rd
Akron:70–49 (.588)40–32 (.556)
Total:250–180 (.581)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Related Research Articles

Bruce Brett Weber is an American college basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach at Kansas State University. Weber was formerly head coach at Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

Ohio Bobcats College sport team in Ohio

The Ohio Bobcats are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio, United States. Ohio University is a charter member (1946) of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), is currently in the East Division of that conference, and sponsors teams in six men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. The football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level for college football.

Tim O'Shea is an American college basketball coach, most recently the head coach of the men's basketball team at Bryant University. He was previously the head coach at Ohio University.

Thad Matta American basketball coach

Thad Michael Matta is a former American college basketball coach. From 2004 to 2017, Matta led the Ohio State Buckeyes to five Big Ten Conference regular season championships, four Big Ten Tournament titles, two Final Four appearances, and the 2008 NIT Championship. He is the winningest coach in Ohio State history.

Akron Zips mens basketball

The Akron Zips men's basketball team represents the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. The team currently competes in the Mid-American Conference East division. The Zips are currently coached by John Groce. Prior to becoming members of the MAC in 1992, the Zips were members of the Ohio Valley Conference and the Mid-Continent Conference.

Ohio Bobcats mens basketball

The Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team is an intercollegiate varsity sports program of Ohio University. The team is a member of the Mid-American Conference East Division competing in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Bobcats have played their home games in the Convocation Center since 1968.

Illinois Fighting Illini mens basketball

The Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team is an NCAA Division I college basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at the State Farm Center, located on the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's campus in Champaign. Illinois has one pre-tournament national championship and one non-NCAA tournament national championship in 1915 and 1943, awarded by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Illinois has appeared in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament 31 times, and has competed in 5 Final Fours, 9 Elite Eights, and has won 17 Big Ten regular season championships.

Ohio State Buckeyes mens basketball

The Ohio State men's basketball team represents The Ohio State University in NCAA Division I college basketball competition. The Buckeyes are a member of the Big Ten Conference.

Jim Christian American basketball player and coach

James Patrick Christian is an American college basketball coach who most recently served as the head coach of the Boston College men's basketball team. He previously held the same position at Kent State, TCU and Ohio.

Bradley Braves mens basketball Basketball team that represents Bradley University

The Bradley Braves men's basketball team represents Bradley University, located in Peoria, Illinois, in NCAA Division I basketball competition. They compete as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Braves are currently coached by Brian Wardle and play their home games at Carver Arena.

2009–10 Ohio Bobcats mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2009–10 Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team represented Ohio University in the college basketball season of 2009–10. The team was coached by John Groce and played their homes game at the Convocation Center.

Jeff Boals is the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team. Boals spent seven years as an assistant coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball team under the tutelage of Thad Matta before replacing Steve Pikiell as the head coach for the Stony Brook Seawolves for three years.

Chris Holtmann American basketball coach

Christopher Adam Holtmann is an American college basketball coach who is currently the head coach at Ohio State University.

Brad Underwood American basketball coach

Bradley Cole Underwood is the current head coach for the Illinois men's basketball team. Previously, he served as head coach at Oklahoma State, Stephen F. Austin, Dodge City Community College, and Daytona Beach Community College and assistant coach at Western Illinois, Kansas State, and South Carolina.

Dustin Ford is the associate head men's basketball coach at the University of Akron. Prior to joining the Zips staff, he served as assistant coach at the University of Illinois, Ohio University and at Western Carolina University. Ford's older brother Geno Ford is currently the head coach at Stony Brook in Stony Brook, New York and his father Gene Ford was a longtime high school head coach in Ohio and the head coach at NCAA Division III Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. His nephew, Darin, is an assistant coach at Pratt Community College in Kansas.

2016–17 Illinois Fighting Illini mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2016–17 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. Led by fifth-year head coach John Groce, the Illini played their home games at State Farm Center as members of the Big Ten Conference. They finished the season 20–15, 8–10 in Big Ten play to finish in ninth place. They lost in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to Michigan. They received an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Valparaiso and Boise State before losing in the Quarterfinals to UCF.

2016–17 Akron Zips mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2016–17 Akron Zips men's basketball team represented the University of Akron during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Zips, led by 13th-year head coach Keith Dambrot, played their home games at the James A. Rhodes Arena as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 27–9, 14–4 in MAC play to win the MAC East Division and MAC overall regular season championship. They defeated Eastern Michigan and Ball State to advance to the championship game of the MAC Tournament where they lost to Kent State, losing in the championship game for the second consecutive year. As a regular season conference champion who failed to win their conference tournament, they received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Houston in the first round before losing to Texas–Arlington.

2017–18 Illinois Fighting Illini mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2017–18 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. Led by first-year head coach Brad Underwood, the Illini played their home games at State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois as members of the Big Ten Conference. They finished the season 14–18, 4–14 in Big Ten play to finish in a three-way tie for 11th place. As the No. 13 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, they lost in the first round to Iowa.

2017–18 Akron Zips mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2017–18 Akron Zips men's basketball team represented the University of Akron during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Zips, led by first-year head coach John Groce, played their home games at the James A. Rhodes Arena as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 14–18, 6–12 in MAC play to finish in last place in the East Division. In the MAC Tournament, they defeated Western Michigan in the first round before losing to Eastern Michigan in the quarterfinals.

Jamall Walker is an American basketball coach who is currently an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University.

References

  1. 1 2 University of Illinois got lucky with John Groce hiring - ESPN Chicago
  2. pg. 36 of the Summer 2007 edition of Taylor: A Magazine for Taylor University Alumni and Friends ISSN 1073-4376 "Coach Patterson used to tell me be the 'Big time' wherever you are...I'm not the guy who chases jobs. I feel fortunate to be at Ohio State. I love being here. We want to be the best we can every day."
  3. Groce Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Ohio :: Becomes 16th head coach in program history
  4. "Groce hired as men's basketball coach at Ohio U - USATODAY.com". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  5. "Ohio's still dancing! Bobcats advance to Sweet 16 with 62-56 victory over South Florida". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  6. Ohio Bobcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels - NCAA Tournament Game - Recap - March 23, 2012 - ESPN
  7. 1 2 Illinois Fighting Illini introduces Ohio Bobcats' John Groce as new coach - ESPN Chicago
  8. Illinois considering Ohio University's John Groce - CBSSports
  9. "Illinois vs. Baylor Game Notes" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  10. "Fighting Illini AD gives vote of confidence to John Groce". ESPN. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  11. Ryan, Shannon. "Illinois lets NCAA tournament dream slip away with loss at Rutgers". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  12. Gertsmeier, Matt. "The Daily Illini : Groce out as head coach for Illinois men's basketball - The Daily Illini". dailyillini.com. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  13. Ryan, Shannon. "Akron hires former Illinois coach John Groce". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  14. "John Groce hired as Akron head coach". CoachesDatabase.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  15. "Akron introduces John Groce as new coach amid smiles and celebration (photos)". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.