Was Weber’s 9-Year Run Really The ‘Best’ At Illinois?

Wednesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Bruce Weber isn’t on the sidelines in Champaign any longer.

But that hardly means the guy can’t still stir up the Illini faithful.

Last Wednesday, the University of Illinois’ former basketball coach was on ESPN radio to talk hoops with hosts Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo. The topic at hand was Weber’s current Kansas State Wildcats, but as the interview unfolded, Van Pelt eventually steered the conversation in a more dicey direction – one that led back to Illinois.

Weber was asked about his feelings last March after he was fired following a tailspin during which the Illini lost 9 of their last 10 games to finish the season 17-15 and out of the postseason. Never one to carry his emotions anywhere but on his sleeve, Weber naturally answered.

“It was hard, there’s no doubt,” he said. “You give your heart and soul to [a] school and you’re there for nine years. We did some things no one else had done in the history of the school. We won the first outright Big Ten championship [in] 52 years, never got to the national championship game [before]. I think if you go over it, it’s probably one of the best runs, if not the best nine-year run, in the history of the school. You know, but things happen, and I was very fortunate to get K-State. It’s a good fit. It’s a great opportunity. I hope I can stay here a while and finish my career.”

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