WCIA — One month to the day after Matt Bollant was fired as Illinois women’s basketball coach, he’s back in the game. Bollant was named the new Eastern Illinois head coach Friday afternoon.
“A lot of my friends today said how fast it was and I’m thinking, ‘It didn’t feel fast,'” Bollant said while visiting the WCIA 3 studios Friday afternoon. “I’m just used to working, I love to coach, I love to work. It’s been a long couple of weeks and I think my wife is thankful that I’m back working.
“It’s exciting and I told the players today, ‘Let’s be great next year.’ We’ve got some good pieces and if we can add a couple pieces here I think we can compete in the OVC next year and be one of the best teams there.”
Eastern Illinois went 9-19 last season, the Panthers haven’t posted a winning record since 2013. Bollant replaces Debbie Black after her contract was not renewed following the 2016-17 season. Bollant was fired after five years at Illinois, going 61-94.