Thursday July 24th, 2014

Illinois has agreed to sign men's basketball coach John Groce to a one-year contract extension, the university announced Thursday.

The extension, which runs through the 2018-19 season, will raise Groce's annual pay $100,000, to $1.7 million.

"John Groce has done an excellent job in his first two years as Illinois basketball coach, so we are pleased to extend his contract and continue our commitment to him and this program in its pursuit of championships." Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. "He has been tremendous in every facet of the job, from coaching and mentoring our players to recruiting, supporting the academic mission of our university, assisting in the State Farm Center renovation project, being involved in the community and engaging with our outstanding fans. The future is bright for Fighting Illini basketball under Coach Groce's leadership."

Groce, 42, has compiled a 43-28 record in two seasons at Illinois, including an appearance as a No. 7 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, in which the Illini reached the third round. 

The Illini failed to qualify for the tournament this season.

"We remain excited about the future of Illinois basketball," Groce said. "So much of the credit goes to the young men in our program who believe in our vision and are working to achieve the high standards we set in all areas both on the court and in the classroom. But I always say `It takes a village' and I truly believe that. It takes everyone involved to accomplish our goals and we have incredible support here at the University of Illinois, led by President Bob Easter, Chancellor Phyllis Wise and Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. Their leadership is integral in our daily pursuit of building a program that will compete at the highest level."

More: Successor Series: Who takes over for John Beilein at Michigan?

- Chris Johnson

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