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Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer 228d

Akron hires ex-Illinois coach John Groce to replace Keith Dambrot

Men's College Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini, Akron Zips

Akron hired former Illinois coach John Groce as its replacement for Keith Dambrot to be its next men's basketball coach Wednesday.

Groce's deal is for six years, a source told ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Dambrot left Akron to be the head coach at Duquesne. He had been the head coach at Akron from 2004 to 2017 and an assistant with the Zips since 2001.

Groce led Ohio, also a member of the Mid-American Conference, to the Sweet 16 in 2012 after four seasons with the Bobcats.

At Illinois for the past five seasons, Groce made the NCAA tournament in 2013, his first season, but missed it the past four.

Groce is familiar with the state of Ohio, having worked as an assistant at Ohio State and Xavier.

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