8:30 PM EDT, March 25, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - Brad Stevens appears to have closed the door on any rumors of him making his way down I-74.
On Sunday night the Butler head coach released a statement through the university reaffirming his commitment to being the Bulldogs head coach for years to come. This came after a weekend of speculation that Stevens may be considering a move to Illinois, who recently fired head coach Bruce Weber.
"I am happy and extremely grateful to be the head coach at Butler University, and I am already looking forward to next season and the start of our postseason workouts in April," read the statement released through the sports information department.
On Friday, reports began to surface that Stevens may be offered the job in Champaignafter VCU coach Shaka Smart decided not to accept the school's multi-million dollar offer. Stevens initially dismissed that as well in a statement to ESPN's Dana O'Neil.
"There is absolutely no truth to it,'' Stevens said to O'Neil. "I have not been contacted.''
On Sunday, a report in the Chicago Tribunesaid that that Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas was still trying to make a run at Stevens. The paper, citing sources, put the possible deal at 8-years with a payout of 21-million dollars.
Stevens has been the head coach at Butler since 2007 and has had unprecedented success with the Bulldogs. He took the team to the tournament in each of his first four seasons and reached the national championship game in 2010 and 2011.
Overall Stevens has a 139-40 record in five seasons with the Bulldogs-the best start in that period of time in NCAA Division I men's basketball history.
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