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Bruce Weber won’t resign as Illinois coach

02.17.12 at 6:08 pm ET
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Facing increased pressure and criticism with his team at 16-10 and in eighth place in the Big Ten standings, Illinois coach Bruce Weber told reporters today that he has no intentions of resigning his position.

The Fighting Illini have lost seven of their past eight games and after his team’s most recent loss, a 67-62 home loss to Purdue, Weber admitted that he has “coached not to lose all year.” He insists, though, that neither he nor his team have given up on this season and he reaffirmed his commitment to the school and program.

‘€œI love Illinois,’€ Weber told the Chicago Tribune. ‘€œI’€™ve said it many times I want to be the coach here. I want to finish my career here. I’€™ve done a lot of good things. ‘€¦ Do I want to do better? No doubt. I know I’€™m a good coach. I’€™ve done things at Illinois no other coaches have done.’€

Since leading Illinois to a 37-2 record and an appearance in the NCAA championship game in 2005, Weber has not guided the Illini past the tournament’s second round since 2006 and they have missed out on the NCAA Tournament entirely in two of the last four seasons. His overall record at the school is 209-95 in what is now his ninth season.

In the last few seasons, Weber has come under increased scrutiny from the Illinois fan base and in a column in Friday’s Tribune, columnist David Haugh suggested that the school and new athletic director Mike Thomas should take a look at replacements for Weber, naming coaches like Brad Stevens of Butler, Mick Cronin of Cincinnati, Gregg Marshall of Wichita State and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth.

Nets point guard Deron Williams, who played for Weber and helped lead Illinois to the 2005 Final Four, supported his coach in an interview with ESPN Chicago, noting that he would be “very disappointed” if Weber ultimately gets fired.

“He’s in a tough situation,” Williams said. “I’d be very disappointed [if Weber were fired]. That’s my coach, and it would be hard for me. I would still support the program, but it would be hard.”

Read More: Brad Stevens, Bruce Weber, Gregg Marshall, Mick Cronin