Weber out at Illinois, Salukis will contact him for coaching vacancy

According to an anonymous source, members of the Saluki men’s basketball team have been informed that SIU will contact former SIU and Illinois coach Bruce Weber for the head coaching vacancy.

Weber was fired Friday after his Illini team made a first-round exit in the Big Ten tournament Thursday against Iowa. Illinois was 17-15 this season, with a 6-12 record in Big Ten play.

Weber still had three years left on his contract with Illinois, which Weber said will turn into a $3.9 million dollar buyout according to ESPN.

Since its appearance in the NCAA national title game in 2005, Illinois hasn’t made it past the second round of the tournament. The Illini missed the tournament twice in that span, with a third missed tournament likely after Thursday’s loss.

Weber was head coach of the Salukis from 1998 to 2003, and several sources have reported Weber has interest in returning to Carbondale.

SIU fired coach Chris Lowery last Friday after setting a new school record for losses in a season with an 8-23 record. Lowery was an assistant on Weber’s staff from 2001 to 2004, including a year at Illinois before Lowery was named head coach of the Salukis in 2004.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia said last Friday that he’d hate to speculate on Weber, who was still employed at the time, but he didn’t want to rule him out as a candidate if Weber became available.

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