Billy Wright fired after six seasons at Western Illinois

Billy Wright has been fired as head coach at Western Illinois, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. Wright went 53-115 during his tenure in Macomb, including a 5-21 (2-14) record this past season.

Western Illinois is one of the toughest jobs in Division I basketball: the program has never been to a Division I NCAA Tournament, has finished above .500 just twice since 2000 and is a geographical-outlier in the Summit League surrounded by much more successful mid- and high-major programs.

So what comes next? The last guy to have success there was Jim Molinari, who came to campus with significant head coaching experience in the Midwest. Former head coaches with local ties include Minnesota‘s Rob Jeter, UNLV‘s Tim Buckley and Creighton‘s Paul Lusk. It’s worth reaching out to Kansas assistant and former Fighting Illini player and coach Jerrance Howard, who is originally from Peoria and is one of the best recruiters of Chicago kids in the nation.

Not sure if any of those guys would be interested in taking on the challenge, but a D-I head coach gig is a D-I head coach gig.


credit to Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports for the photo