Bruce Weber
    Bruce Weber

    Head Coach


    5th year

    Alma Mater:
    Wis.-Milwaukee (1978)

    Bruce Weber has given the devoted fans of Southern Illinois basketball yet another reason to be proud. Prior to last season, you might have found a Saluki fan reminiscing about the days of Walt Frazier and the 1967 NIT championship team, or Mike Glenn and the Sweet 16 team of 1977, or the remarkable three-year run of NCAA Tournament appearances from 1993 to 1995.

    Now, Saluki fans will proudly look back upon the 2002 season as arguably the best in school history.

    The incredible 2001-02 campaign that ended in a 12-point loss to UConn in the Sweet 16, was about more than just winning, however. It was about establishing a special bond between a coach, his team and its diehard fans.

    Bruce Weber has a record of 79-47 at SIU

    Make no mistake, Weber is the guiding force behind the revival of Saluki basketball. He arrived at Southern Illinois in 1998 after 18 years as an assistant coach at Purdue. SIU was coming off its third-straight losing season, yet Weber reversed its course and posted three-straight winning seasons, including an NIT berth in 2000.

    That set the stage for the 2001-02 campaign, which featured a full roster of players recruited by Weber and his staff. Under the astute supervision of the Gene Keady protege, SIU raced up the polls and the RPI rankings by knocking off big-name opponents such as Indiana, Iowa State, Georgia and Texas Tech.

    It was like waking a sleeping giant, as Saluki fans in the community and the region flocked to SIU Arena to watch history in the making. Versus Indiana, the school recorded its first home sellout in 12 years.

    The excitement reached a crescendo when the Salukis were assigned to Chicago for the NCAA Tournament. Chants of ?SIU,? ?SIU? filled the United Center as the Salukis defeated Texas Tech and Georgia.

    The trademark of a Bruce Weber-led team is its aggressive, fundamentally sound defense, which was prominently displayed before a national television audience in the tournament wins. Opponents were held to 40.3 percent shooting against SIU last season, the best mark by a Saluki defense since 1967-68. Only four teams shot better than 45 percent against Southern last year.

    Energetic and personable, Weber appeared on numerous national radio and television programs on networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports and CNN, bringing unprecedented publicity to Carbondale and Southern Illinois University.

    In 23 seasons, Weber has made 20 post-season tourney appearances.

    Fame and success have not changed Weber. He remains approachable, generous and humble. On road trips, no job is beneath him as he helps team managers load the bus or passes out drinks and sandwiches to his players and staff. Weber?s warm personality has made him a popular figure in the Carbondale community, where he is a frequent guest at civic clubs, booster club meetings, golf outings and church fund-raisers.

    Last summer, the administration of Southern Illinois University demonstrated its commitment to keeping Weber by giving him a raise and signing him to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2006-07 season and rolls over after each season.

    His passion for winning remains unquenchable. Before the season, he re-stated the team?s goals: win the Valley championship, win the MVC Tournament and make another run in the NCAA Tournament.

    A rising star in the coaching ranks, Weber remains in close contact with his friend and mentor, Coach Keady. The Keady-Weber years at Purdue produced some remarkable achievements, including 17 postseason appearances (14 NCAA/3 NIT), six Big Ten Championships, two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and one trip to the NCAA Elite Eight (1994).

    His association with Keady also allowed Weber to gain experience on the international level. He was an assistant coach for the USA Team at the World University games in 1989 and the Pan American games in 1991.

    Prior to Purdue, Weber coached one season at Western Kentucky (1979-80), where the team won the Ohio Valley Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

    Born October 19, 1956, the Milwaukee-native began his coaching career as a high school head coach in Madison, Wis., from 1975-79.

    A 1978 graduate of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bruce and his wife, Megan, have three daughters and reside in Carbondale.

    1979-80Western KentuckyAssistant21-810-2NCAA 1st Round
    1980-81PurdueAssistant21-1110-9NIT Final Four
    1981-82PurdueAssistant18-1411-7NIT Runnerup
    1982-83PurdueAssistant21-911-7NCAA 2nd Round
    1983-84PurdueAssistant22-715-3NCAA 1st Round
    1984-85PurdueAssistant20-911-7NCAA 1st Round
    1985-86PurdueAssistant22-1011-7NCAA 1st Round
    1986-87PurdueAssistant25-515-3NCAA 2nd Round
    1987-88PurdueAssistant29-416-2NCAA Sweet 16
    1989-90PurdueAssistant22-813-5NCAA 2nd Round
    1990-91PurdueAssistant17-129-9NCAA 1st Round
    1991-92PurdueAssistant18-158-10NIT 3rd Round
    1992-93PurdueAssistant18-109-9NCAA 1st Round
    1993-94PurdueAssistant29-58-10NCAA Elite Eight
    1994-95PurdueAssistant25-79-9NCAA 2nd Round
    1995-96PurdueAssistant26-614-4NCAA 2nd Round
    1996-97PurdueAssistant18-1215-3NCAA 2nd Round
    1997-98PurdueAssistant28-812-4NCAA Sweet 16
    1998-99Southern IllinoisHead Coach15-1210-8-
    1999-00Southern IllinoisHead Coach20-1312-6NIT 2nd Round
    2000-01Southern IllinoisHead Coach16-1410-8-
    2001-02Southern IllinoisHead Coach28-814-4NCAA Sweet 16
    ?at Southern Illinois79-4746-26
    ?at Purdue415-176
    ?Western Kentucky21-8

    Charting Weber's Success
    ? 20 Postseason appearances
    ? 16 NCAA Tournament appearances
    ? 4 National Invitation Tournament appearances
    ? One NCAA Elite Eight appearance (1994)
    ? Three NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances
    ? 6 Big Ten Championships
    ? 1 Missouri Valley Conference Championship (2002)
    ? 1 Ohio Valley Conference Championship (1980)
    ? World University Games assistant (1989)
    ? Pan American Games assistant (1991)