Offutt Rejoins Groce As Illinois Graduate Manager

By
Avery T. Jennings


Updated Tue, Jul 1, 2014 2:24 pm
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Photo Credit: 
Ryan Young
Ohio's Walter Offutt scores in the Bobcats' 69-65 win over Miami (OH) on January 21.

Former Ohio guard Walter Offutt has accepted a job as a graduate manager at the University of Illinois. He will help lead the Illini men's basketball team under the guidance of head coach John Groce.

Groce and Offutt teamed up to help lead Ohio to an NCAA Sweet 16 berth in 2012, defeating No. 4-seed Michigan in the second round of the tournament before knocking off South Florida in the round of 32.

Groce was hired at Illinois before the end of March, while Offutt spent the next year playing out his final season at Ohio under Jim Christian.

Offutt averaged 11.5 points per game over 71 appearances in green and white. He was a team captain for each of his two seasons with the Bobcats.

Prior to Ohio, Offutt had developed a relationship with Groce. Groce recruited Offutt while serving as an assistant under Thad Matta at Xavier. After Matta and Groce moved to Ohio State, Offutt soon committed to the Columbus university, where he would spend his freshman season. Groce's move to Ohio prompted Offutt's transfer, and after a stop at Wright State, the hard-nosed guard joined his mentor in Athens.

Offutt will spend the next season trying to instill the same toughness Ohio fans have come to know into Groce's players at Illinois. The former Ohio fan-favorite has publicly stated his desire to coach basketball as a career.

Offutt tweeted that he had accepted the position on May 28.

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