September 7, 1971 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1996–2000||NC State (asst.)|
|2004–2008||Ohio State (asst.)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2× MAC Tournament championships (2010, 2012)|
Player and assistant coach
Groce graduated from Taylor University, an NAIA Division II school in Upland, Indiana, in 1994 and played basketball for the school while he was there. Groce started his coaching career as an assistant with his alma mater, Taylor University, under Paul Patterson from 1993 to 1996. His next job was an assistant at North Carolina State University under Herb Sendek from 1996 to 2000. He then moved on to Butler University to join his good friend Thad Matta and was there just one season (2000–01). Together they then moved onto Xavier University where he was an assistant from 2001 to 2004, and moved again with Matta to Ohio State University as an assistant from 2004 to 2008.
He was named as the head men's basketball coach at Ohio University on June 27, 2008, replacing Tim O'Shea, who resigned to take the head coach position at Bryant University. Groce was at Ohio from 2008 to 2012 and led the school to the NCAA Tournament twice. Qualifying as a #14 seed in 2010, Groce led the Bobcats to an upset win over Georgetown in the first round. In 2012, Groce led the #13 seed Bobcats all the way to the Sweet Sixteen, where they suffered a 73–65 overtime loss to North Carolina. Ohio had not been that far in the tournament since 1964. In four seasons at Ohio, Groce was 85–56 overall and 34–30 in Mid-American Conference games.
University of Illinois
Groce finalized negotiations to become the men's basketball head coach at the University of Illinois on March 28, 2012, after both Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens declined interest in the position. The Illini started 12-0 in 2012 under Groce, the best start for a first year coach in the team's modern era. The team won the 2012 Maui Invitational by defeating Butler University in the championship game. The season took a turn for the worse, however, as Illinois finished the year with a losing conference record at 8-10. Since 2013, John Groce has reversed Illinois' prior, four-game losing streak in the annual Braggin' Rights interstate rivalry against the University of Missouri by winning the contest for three straight seasons. During their 2014 season, Illinois' success in the month of November improved to 21-0 under Groce and 32-0 overall since 2010. Until losing five non-conference games in 2015, Illinois was the only program in the nation with an undefeated November record dating back to 2011.
Groce's stated top priority at Illinois is getting his players to buy into and demonstrate the values of what he calls Toughness and Togetherness, or "T-n-T". To motivate his team during the 2013 season, he had his players wear wristbands that read "3-19-13"—the starting date of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Before the end of their 2016 season, new Illinois AD Josh Whitman gave John Groce a vote of confidence, praising his leadership and stating that "John Groce is going to continue to be our basketball coach."
Head coaching record
|Ohio Bobcats (Mid-American Conference) (2008–2012)|
|2009–10||Ohio||22–15||7–9||5th (East)||NCAA Second Round|
|2010–11||Ohio||19–16||9–7||3rd (East)||CIT Quarterfinals|
|2011–12||Ohio||29–8||11–5||3rd (East)||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|Ohio:||85–56 (.603)||34–30 (.531)|
|Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (2012–present)|
|2012–13||Illinois||23–13||8–10||T–7th||NCAA Third Round|
|2013–14||Illinois||20–15||7–11||T–8th||NIT Second Round|
|2014–15||Illinois||19–14||9–9||T–7th||NIT First Round|
|Illinois:||77–61 (.558)||29–43 (.403)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- University of Illinois got lucky with John Groce hiring - ESPN Chicago
- pg. 36 of the Summer 2007 edition of Taylor: A Magazine for Taylor University Alumni and Friends ISSN 1073-4376 "Coach Patterson used to tell me be the 'Big time' wherever you are...I'm not the guy who chases jobs. I feel fortunate to be at Ohio State. I love being here. We want to be the best we can every day."
- Groce Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Ohio :: Becomes 16th head coach in program history
- Ohio Bobcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels - NCAA Tournament Game - Recap - March 23, 2012 - ESPN
- Illinois Fighting Illini introduces Ohio Bobcats' John Groce as new coach - ESPN Chicago
- Illinois considering Ohio University's John Groce - CBSSports
- (PDF) http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ill/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/release/release_20141128aaa.pdf. Retrieved 29 November 2014. Missing or empty
- "Fighting Illini AD gives vote of confidence to John Groce". ESPN. Retrieved 6 March 2016.