Following the reports from earlier in the day that Bruce Weber would replace the departed Frank Martin as the head men's basketball coach for the Kansas State Wildcats, the University officially announced Weber as their new coach. Athletic director John Currie introduced Weber on Saturday afternoon. Weber spent nine years as the head coach at Illinois before he was fired at the conclusion of the season, and was unsurprisingly happy to find new employment at a major conference program.
"I could not be more excited about the opportunity that has presented itself here at K-State. I'm happy to come to a place that has great tradition. When I've talked with people over the last couple of weeks, the main thing they emphasize to me - my mentors and peers -- that I just don't take any job. So I'm very fortunate to take a job where there is already something built."
Currie is banking on Weber's early record at Illinois being more indicative of his coaching abilities than his recent record, and like most athletic directors, pointed to the fact that his hire was made on the basis of both basketball and character.
"Coach Weber's success as a head coach speaks for itself, which includes eight trips to the NCAA Tournament and a national championship game appearance in 2005. But what impresses me even more about Coach Weber are his core values and belief in the advancement of his players not only on the court but also as model student-athletes and citizens "
Weber has a 313-155 record in his career as a head coach, including 11 NCAA Tournament wins. Weber has been to one Final Four and three Sweet Sixteens, including one while he was the head coach at Southern Illinois. He signed a 5-year contract worth $1.5 million in his first year at K-State, and he will receive raises of $100,000 each year.
For more on the Bruce Weber hiring and Kansas State basketball, be sure to visit Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats.