"I'm pleased to add Dustin and Jamall to our staff," Groce said.
"These two coaches were with me at Ohio and will bring stability,
continuity and knowledge of how we want to run the program here at
the University of Illinois. Dustin has tremendous experience
coaching forwards and posts, and Jamal excels at developing guards.
They are well-rounded in every aspect of coaching at this level
including recruiting, scouting and player development."
Dustin Ford previously served on Groce's Ohio staff for four seasons,
from 2009-12, helping guide the Bobcats to an 85-56 overall record.
Ford specialized in working with the frontcourt, aiding in the
improvement of players such as Jerome Tillman (first team all-MAC in
2009), DeVaughn Washington (honorable mention all-MAC in 2011) and Ivo Baltic (honorable mention
all-MAC in 2012).
Prior to his stint in Athens, Ford served three years as an
assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Larry Hunter's staff
at Western Carolina from 2006-08 and was promoted to associate head
coach in the spring of 2008. During his tenure at Western Carolina,
he was responsible for recruiting two eventual Southern Conference
Defensive Players of the Year in Brigham Waginger (2010) and Richie
Gordon (2011) and a SoCon Freshman of the Year in Harouna Mutombo
Ford began his coaching career as the head varsity coach at Jackson
High School in Jackson, Ohio, for four seasons, from 2002-05.
Ford was a standout player before entering the coaching profession,
starting all four years at Ohio, from 1998-01. He led the Bobcats in
3-point field goals as a junior and senior. Ford's 166 career
3-pointers and 310 career assists currently rank seventh and eighth,
respectively, in Ohio school history.
Part of a long line of coaches in the Ford family, Dustin is the son
of Muskingum College head coach Gene Ford, while his brother, Geno,
is the head coach at Bradley University
Ford graduated from Ohio in 2001 with a degree in communication
studies. He and his wife, Marcie, have a son, Max, and daughter,
[to top of second column]
Jamall Walker was part of Groce's original Ohio staff during the
2009 season. After serving as director of basketball operations
for Sean Miller at Arizona in 2010, Walker returned to Athens to
assist Groce from 2011-12. His specialty is working with guards,
and Walker has mentored one of the best in the nation in OU's
D.J. Cooper, a two-time first-team all-MAC selection and 2012
MAC tournament MVP.
Before arriving at Ohio, Walker spent one year as an assistant
coach at Murray State in 2008, preceded by a one-year stint as
an assistant at St. Louis in 2007.
Walker entered the Division I coaching ranks at Ball State,
where he was an assistant and recruiting coordinator for two
years, from 2005-06. During his time in Muncie, Walker played a
key role in recruiting Chicagoland guard Maurice Acker, the 2006
MAC Freshman of the Year.
Prior to Ball State, Walker spent two seasons as an assistant
coach and recruiting coordinator at Redlands Community College
in El Reno, Okla. While there he helped lead Redlands to a
runner-up finish in the 2004 NJCAA DI tournament.
Walker's coaching career began as a varsity assistant at Alton
(Ill.) high school during the 2000 season before serving in the
same position at F.L. Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kan.,
Walker played point guard at St. Louis for four years from
1996-99, helping lead the Billikens to the NCAA tournament in
1998. He earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team recognition in
1996 and ranks seventh in St. Louis school history with 350
Walker graduated from St. Louis in 2000 with a degree in
secondary education. He and his wife, Rebekah, have a daughter,
news release from Derrick Burson, associate sports
information director, University of Illinois]