Bruce Weber (basketball)

Bruce Brett Weber (born October 19, 1956) is an American college basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach at Kansas State University.[1] Weber was formerly head coach at Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.[2]

Bruce Weber
Bruce Weber at open practice in 2009.jpg
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamKansas State
ConferenceBig 12
Record179–137 (.566)
Annual salary$2.6 million
Biographical details
Born (1956-10-19) October 19, 1956 (age 65)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alma materWisconsin–Milwaukee
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1979–1980Western Kentucky (GA)
1980–1998Purdue (assistant)
1998–2003Southern Illinois
2003–2012Illinois
2012–presentKansas State
Head coaching record
Overall492–297 (.624)
Tournaments15–13 (NCAA Division I)
3–2 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
NCAA Final Four (2005)
2x MVC regular season (2002, 2003)
2x Big Ten regular season (2004, 2005)
Big Ten Tournament (2005)
2x Big 12 regular season (2013, 2019)
2019 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup
Awards
Adolph Rupp Cup (2005)
AP Coach of the Year (2005)
Henry Iba Award (2005)
NABC Coach of the Year (2005)
Naismith College Coach of the Year (2005)
MVC Coach of the Year (2003)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2005)
Big 12 Coach of the Year (2013)
Medal record
Head coach for men's basketball
Representing  United States
FIBA Under-19 World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2019 Greece Team

Weber has won conference championships and conference coach of the year awards at each of the three schools where he has served as head coach. He has guided his teams to a combined total of 13 NCAA Tournaments, including an appearance with Illinois in the championship game of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Weber was the consensus national coach of the year in 2005.

CoachingEdit

Early careerEdit

Weber began his coaching career with a brief stint as a graduate assistant coach at Western Kentucky University during the 1979–80 season under head coach Gene Keady. In 1980, Weber moved to Purdue University along with Keady. He remained an assistant coach at Purdue for 18 seasons before becoming the head coach at Southern Illinois University in 1998.

Southern IllinoisEdit

In his five seasons at Southern Illinois, Weber led the Salukis to consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003, including a Sweet Sixteen finish in 2002.

University of IllinoisEdit

On April 30, 2003, Weber was hired by Illinois to replace Bill Self, who had departed from Illinois to take the head coaching job at Kansas.

2003–04 seasonEdit

The Illini played a tough early season game against North Carolina on December 2 in Greensboro, and were tied at 69 with just six minutes to go. Illinois eventually lost the game 88–81, but it proved to be a good test for the young team with no seniors in the starting lineup. Weber faced his toughest test after starting the conference schedule with an even 3–3 mark. He changed many doubters' minds by winning the remaining ten games on the conference schedule, winning the Big Ten title outright for the first time since 1952. The Illini finished second losing to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. They received a bid as a #5 seed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, defeating Murray State and Cincinnati in the first two rounds to reach the Sweet Sixteen. A 72–62 loss to top-seeded Duke ended their tournament run, but capped a solid first season for coach Weber.

2004–05 seasonEdit

The 2005 season opened with high expectations and the return of all the team's starters. On December, 1 the Illini defeated the number-one ranked team, Wake Forest, 91–73, at Assembly Hall. Weber sported a glowing orange blazer for the game, and Assembly Hall was painted orange by the 16,618 fans wearing school colors. The pressure grew for Weber as the victory vaulted the Illini to the top spot in the polls the following week, a spot they would carry for the rest of the season. Regular season perfection and their 29–0 record ended on the last game of the regular season, however, as Illinois lost a 12-point, second half lead to Ohio State and lost on a last second shot to the Thad Matta-coached Buckeyes, 65–64. The Illini won the Big Ten regular season and Tournament titles.

In the 2005 NCAA Tournament the team received the overall #1 seed, and top seed in the Midwest Regional. Illinois defeated Farleigh Dickinson and Nevada in the first two rounds in Indianapolis. In the Sweet Sixteen, Weber led the Illini to a victory over his alma-mater, Milwaukee, then defeated Arizona in an amazing comeback to advance to the Final Four.[3] After leading Illinois to a win over Louisville in the Final Four, Weber could not deliver the Fighting Illini their first national championship, falling 75–70 to North Carolina in the National Championship game.

Weber coached the team to the best record in school history, finishing 37–2, and tying the NCAA record for most wins in a season. Weber won many coaching awards after the season, including the Naismith Award and the Henry Iba Award.

2005–2012Edit

Despite losing three starters to the NBA, the Illini finished the 2005–06 season with a 26–7 record and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 2006–07 season had a disappointing start, including the first three-game losing streak in Weber's tenure. However, the Illini rebounded to finish 23–11 and again qualify for the NCAA tournament.

The 2007–08 season marked the first time during Weber's tenure that the Illini did not qualify for a postseason tournament, finishing the season with an overall record of 16–19, 5–13 in the Big Ten.[4]

The team improved markedly the following year, however, finishing 24–10, 11–7 in the Big Ten and returning to NCAA Tournament.

After a 10–0 start to the 2011–12 season, Weber's Illini went 7–15, finishing the season with a 17–15 record.

On March 9, 2012, one day after the Illini lost its Big Ten Tournament opening-round game to Iowa, Weber was relieved of his duties.[5] During his nine-year tenure as Illinois coach, Weber amassed a Big Ten record of 89–64, and an overall record of 210–101. His overall win percentage with Illinois (67.5%) stands as second only to Bill Self in the modern era. His 210 wins are the third-most in school history, behind only Lou Henson and Harry Combes.

Kansas State UniversityEdit

On March 31, 2012, Weber was hired as head coach at Kansas State University, replacing Frank Martin, who had departed to become head coach at South Carolina.[1] In his first eight seasons as head coach, Weber has led the team to two conference championships and five NCAA tournament appearances. His team advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 2018. Weber won the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year award in 2013. He is third on K-State's all-time total wins list, behind only Jack Hartman and Tex Winter, and 11th in overall winning percentage.

In his first season at K-State, Weber led the Wildcats to 27–8 record and tied for the Big 12 Conference title with a 14–4 conference mark. The title was K-State's first regular-season conference championship since 1977. Weber was named the 2013 Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year. His first season at KSU ended with an upset loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to LaSalle, 63–61, in Kansas City's Sprint Center.[6] The team finished ranked #12 in the nation in the AP Poll and #20 in the Coaches Poll. Senior Rodney McGruder was named first-team all-conference.

Shortly after the end of Weber's first season, starting point guard Ángel Rodríguez and two other players announced their intentions to transfer.[7][8] Kansas State's roster was further thinned when incoming freshman Neville Fincher was declared ineligible for the 2013–14 season, and incoming point guard Jevon Thomas was declared ineligible for the fall semester.[9][10]

Weber started his second season at Kansas State 0–1 after losing at home to the Big Sky Conference's Northern Colorado Bears, but finished the non-conference schedule with an 8-game winning streak and a 10–3 record. In its first conference game, Kansas State upset #6 Oklahoma State and earned a #25 ranking in the following week's AP Poll. The team finished the regular season with a 20–12 record, 10–8 in the Big 12, and returned to the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fifth straight season.

The next two years for Kansas State under Weber were less successful. His third season at Kansas State ended with a 15–17 record (8–10 in Big 12 play), and the school did not advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. The losing record was only the second for Weber in his first 17 seasons as a head coach. Following the season, Weber's squad saw the transfer and departure of six scholarship players, including Marcus Foster, Jevon Thomas, Nigel Johnson, Tre Harris and Malek Harris.[11] Following the departure of numerous players from the prior season, the 2015–16 season was again difficult. The Wildcats finished 17–15, 5–13 in Big 12 play.

From that point, Weber successfully rebuilt the program. In 2016–17, the Wildcats returned to the NCAA tournament and finished with a 21–14 (8–10) record. In 2017–18, the team improved to 25–12 (10–8) and advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA tournament, including a 61–58 win over Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. The team received a #19 national ranking at season's end in the Coaches Poll.

In 2018–19, the team tied with Texas Tech for its second regular-season Big 12 Conference title under Weber, with a 14–4 conference record. For the third consecutive season, Kansas State was invited to the NCAA tournament. After an upset first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, the team finished with a 25–9 record and a #18 national ranking in the AP Poll, and #19 ranking in the Coaches Poll. Two players from the team were named first-team all-conference: Dean Wade and Barry Brown Jr.

Weber's team followed the championship season with a last-place finish in the Big 12 Conference, with a record of 10–21 (3–15) in 2019–20. It was the first last-place conference finish of Weber's career as a head coach.

The 2020-21 Wildcats struggled to a ninth-place finish in the Big 12 with a 4-14 mark (only Iowa State posted a worse Big 12 record at 0-18), and finished with a 9-20 mark for the season.

National teamEdit

In the summer of 2019, Weber coached the United States national under-19 team at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece. His team won the tournament championship with a 7–0 record.

Head coaching recordEdit

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Southern Illinois Salukis (Missouri Valley Conference) (1998–2003)
1998–99 Southern Illinois 15–12 10–8 T–5th
1999–00 Southern Illinois 20–13 12–6 3rd NIT Second Round
2000–01 Southern Illinois 16–14 10–8 T–4th
2001–02 Southern Illinois 28–8 14–4 T–1st NCAA Division I Sweet 16
2002–03 Southern Illinois 24–7 16–2 1st NCAA Division I Round of 64
Southern Illinois: 103–54 (.656) 62–28 (.689)
Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (2003–2012)
2003–04 Illinois 26–7 13–3 1st NCAA Division I Sweet 16
2004–05 Illinois 37–2 15–1 1st NCAA Division I Runner-up
2005–06 Illinois 26–7 11–5 T–2nd NCAA Division I Round of 32
2006–07 Illinois 23–12 9–7 T–4th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2007–08 Illinois 16–19 5–13 T–9th
2008–09 Illinois 24–10 11–7 T–2nd NCAA Division I Round of 64
2009–10 Illinois 21–15 10–8 5th NIT Quarterfinal
2010–11 Illinois 20–14 9–9 T–4th NCAA Division I Round of 32
2011–12 Illinois 17–15 6–12 9th
Illinois: 210–101 (.675) 89–65 (.578)
Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 Conference) (2012–present)
2012–13 Kansas State 27–8 14–4 T–1st NCAA Division I Round of 64
2013–14 Kansas State 20–13 10–8 5th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2014–15 Kansas State 15–17 8–10 T–6th
2015–16 Kansas State 17–16 5–13 8th
2016–17 Kansas State 21–14 8–10 6th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2017–18 Kansas State 25–12 10–8 4th NCAA Division I Elite Eight
2018–19 Kansas State 25–9 14–4 T–1st NCAA Division I Round of 64
2019–20 Kansas State 11–21 3–15 10th
2020–21 Kansas State 9–20 4–14 9th
2021–22 Kansas State 10–8 2–5
Kansas State: 180–138 (.566) 78–91 (.462)
Total: 493–298 (.623)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

PersonalEdit

Weber was born in Milwaukee to Louis and Dawn Weber, growing up with two sisters and two brothers. Weber attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and played college baseball for the Milwaukee Panthers. He graduated from UWM in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in education. Weber added a master's degree in education administration and physical education from Western Kentucky University in 1981.[1] He is married to Megan Weber, and has three daughters – Christy, Emily, and Hannah.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "KSU Weber biography". Archived from the original on 2017-03-26. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  2. ^ "Illinois Weber biography". Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  3. ^ "Arizona vs. Illinois – Game Recap – March 26, 2005 – ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  4. ^ [1] Chicago Sun-Times. Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Illinois fires Bruce Weber". Sports Network. March 27, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Kellis Robinett. "K-State upset 63–61 by La Salle". The Kansas City Star, March 22, 2013.
  7. ^ Kellis Robinett. "Adrian Diaz leaves Kansas State basketball Archived 2013-07-04 at the Wayback Machine". The Wichita Eagle, April 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Sports Illustrated, April 22, 2013.[dead link]
  9. ^ Ken Corbitt. "K-State recruit Fincher fails to qualify". The Topeka Capital-Journal, June 6, 2013.
  10. ^ Kellis Robinett. "New York point guard Jevon Thomas to join Kansas State basketball next season Archived 2013-03-03 at the Wayback Machine". The Wichita Eagle, February 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Kansas State's Marcus Foster will transfer to Creighton, Wildcats add recruit". kansascity. Retrieved 2016-02-17.