Illini Go To Paris, Finally Connect With Chicago

Today’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Jerrance Howard and Wayne McClain didn’t hail from Chicago. Rob Judson, Tim Jankovich and Billy Gillispie weren’t from the city, either. And neither was Jay Price, Chris Lowery or even Tracy Webster, who was raised in south suburban Harvey.

Nope, during the University of Illinois coaching tenures of Bruce Weber and Bill Self – which combined to span 12 seasons – not a single one of their assistant coaches had ever called Chicago home. And the same thing applied to the staff of Lon Kruger, who spent four seasons seated along the Assembly Hall sideline prior to the Self and Weber eras.

Fact is, in order to find an Illini basketball assistant with true, deep ties to the Windy City, one has to blow all the way back in time to 1996, the final year that ace Chicago recruiter Jimmy Collins served as Lou Henson’s right-hand man. Yes, it’s been that long.

Until now, at least.

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