Molinari resigns at Western Illinois, calls decision 'hardest of - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Molinari resigns at Western Illinois, calls decision 'hardest of my life'

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Jim Molinari stepped down as WIU men's basketball coach on Thursday to become an assistant coach at Nebraska. Jim Molinari stepped down as WIU men's basketball coach on Thursday to become an assistant coach at Nebraska.
MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- Western Illinois men's basketball coach Jim Molinari has resigned after six seasons in Macomb.

WIU athletic officials made Molinari's decision official on Thursday evening nearly a week after speculation surfaced the veteran leader was set to join the Nebraska staff as an assistant coach.

Molinari said he had not made up his mind until Thursday afternoon and informed the Leatherneck players a few hours later.

"It was the hardest college basketball decision of my life," Molinari told WGEM Sports on Thursday night.

"We accomplished our goal and built a program at Western. It's all a cycle and the cycle (at Western Illinois) is going upward."

Molinari certainly brought a level of respect back to Western Hall even though his overall record was 79-104. He was instrumental in leading the Leathernecks to their first NCAA Division I postseason appearance (College Basketball Invitational) in 2012. Western returned to the CBI in 2013 as well.

“Having known Coach Molinari for more than 20 years and watched his incredible basketball career and accomplishments he had at Western Illinois University, we wish him continued success and the best of luck," Western Illinois athletic director Tommy Bell said in a statement.

"He will be missed."


This past season Molinari picked up his 300th career win as a head coach. In 2013 he was named Summit League Coach of the Year after the Leathernecks won the league's regular season title.

But the opportunity to join Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles was one ultimately he could not refuse.

"Tim and I have a great relationship," Molinari said. "And the goal is to try and win Big Ten titles, and a national championship."
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