After already being spurned by VCU's Shaka Smart and Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin, Illinois is now reportedly turning its attention to Butler's Brad Stevens to fill its head basketball coaching vacancy.
Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com is reporting that Illinois has reached out to Stevens to replace Bruce Weber, who was fired earlier this month after nine seasons with the Illini.
Stevens has risen to national prominence after leading Butler to the national championship game in both 2010 and 2011. The Bulldogs were narrowly defeated by Duke two seasons ago, and then were beaten by Connecticut last April. In five seasons at Butler, Stevens has amassed an overall record of 139-40.
Many have believed that Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas is under pressure to hire a minority coach since Illinois is one just of three Big Ten schools that have never had a minority head coach in men's basketball or football. With Smart and Martin both expressing a lack of interest, however, that may now be less of a focal point.
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