Matt Bollant Laying Proper Foundation for Illinois

It’s often referred to as “Catching Lightning in a Bottle.” A program gets a new coach who has a ton of promise, perhaps yields a big recruiting class at the onset, but finds long-term it can’t keep up with the giants of the sport. What starts out as a can’t-miss upward trend slowly (or sometimes quickly) fizzles, forcing the program to essentially start over.

But for every 20 or 30 of those that fall as fast as they climb trying to break through into that elite group, there are those that have become what I like to call paradigm shifters, ones that provide a don’t-look-back change on the landscape.

Matt Bollant has a 315-92 overall record in 12-plus years as a head coach (photo courtesy University of Illinois)

That’s what Dawn Staley has done at South Carolina and that’s what I see in Illinois with coach Matt Bollant. The 43-year old is building the foundation of a program that won’t teeter when put to the test from the current elite or the future up-and-comers.
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