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John Groce

John Groce

95-75 as Illini coach (2012-17) | Now coaching Akron Zips

Whenever the Groce gang is back in town, there’s one must-stop, no matter the time of year.

The coach’s two kids insist on it.

Conner and Camden still talk to this day about Jarling’s Custard Cup and always go when they come back to visit,” John Groce says from Akron, where he was named head basketball coach in 2017, following a five-year run at Illinois.

“Camden still calls one of their snowstorms, the Brownie Snowstorm, ‘the Jimmy Fitzgerald’ in honor of one of our great neighbors who shared the treat with him.

“There are too many places in C-U to mention that we enjoyed — campus, our home, church, schools and restaurants. However, the three places that our family mentions quite often are Starbucks, Jarling’s and the Champaign Country Club.

“I have been an avid coffee drinker since I started coaching college basketball in 1994 and love Starbucks coffee. The coffee was always good but the fellowship was even better.

“We still stay in touch with many of the people we met during those early morning visits, especially two of my favorite ladies — Roberta and Rosemary. It was a great way to start off each day.

“The Champaign Country Club was always fun for our family as well — it was close to home and the hospitality, cooking, kids’ activities and fellowship with friends made it very enjoyable for us.”