Friday, May 11, 2012
Sports News

Fighting Illini basketball

Groce adds Morris to Illini staff

Previously served as graduate assistant at Ohio

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[May 11, 2012]  CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois head basketball coach John Groce announced Thursday the hiring of Mark Morris as director of basketball operations. Morris previously served on Groce's staff at Ohio University the last two seasons as a graduate assistant.

Morris performed a variety of administrative functions for the basketball team at Ohio, including team travel, budget management, fundraising, ticket allocation, alumni relations, video exchange and supervision of student managers. He was part of a successful Bobcats program that won a school-record 29 games, advanced to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 and earned a final national ranking of 25th in the coaches' poll this past season.

"Mark was an important part of our staff at Ohio, and I'm pleased to have him continue with us here at the University of Illinois," Groce said. "He has a tremendous work ethic and will do an excellent job handling the many administrative duties involved in running our program."

Prior to graduate school at Ohio, Morris spent four years as a student assistant at Murray State University from 2006-10 under then-head coach Billy Kennedy. In addition to assisting the Murray State coaching staff on a daily basis in practices and games, he also handled equipment, helped with video exchange and coordinated managerial duties. During Morris' senior year in 2010, the Racers won a school-record 31 games, claimed Ohio Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament second round.

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Morris earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Murray State in 2010 and a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio in 2012.

[Text from news release received from Derrick Burson, associate sports information director, University of Illinois]

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