Eastern Illinois Names Matt Bollant Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Eastern Illinois Athletic Director Tom Michael has announced the hiring of Matt Bollant as the next head coach of the Eastern Illinois women’s basketball program.

Bollant will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday, April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Ike Kennard Club Room in Lantz Arena.  He will become the ninth head coach in program history.

“We had exceptional interest from all across the nation in the Eastern Illinois head coaching position,” said Michael.  “Matt was a candidate that stood out among those resumes with his proven track record of building winning programs at our level.  He sold the committee on his vision for returning EIU women’s basketball back to the upper levels of the Ohio Valley Conference where it can contend for conference championships and post-season play.”

“I am excited to be named Head Coach at Eastern Illinois,” said Bollant.  “Tom Michael and Dr. Glassman have been outstanding in this process and I am so excited about bringing honor to them and this great University.  My family and I are really looking forward to being a part of the Charleston community. Great things are ahead!”

Bollant is familiar with the success that has been had at Eastern Illinois as he faced the Panthers in the second round of the Women’s Post-Season NIT during the 2013 season.  Bollant comes to EIU following a five-year stint at the University of Illinois where he had five wins over Top 25 teams.  During his time at Illinois he raised the team GPA to a 3.3 boasting a 100 percent student-athlete graduation rate.

Prior to his time at Illinois, Bollant was the head coach at Green Bay for five seasons winning the Horizon League Championship all five seasons with five straight post-season trips and four NCAA Tournament appearances.  At Green Bay he was named the Kay Yow Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading the Phoenix to the Sweet 16.  He posted a 148-19 record at Green Bay including a 7-0 record against the Big Ten Conference and three seasons with nationally rankings.

His first collegiate head coaching job was at Bryan College where he posted a 134-38 record guiding the team to three straight conference championships and four straight trips to the NAIA National Tournament, the first post-season appearances in school history.  Bollant spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana University helping the Hoosiers win the 2002 Big Ten Championship.  He was an assistant at Evansville as the team won the 1999 Missouri Valley Conference Championship, the first title in program history.

A proven recruiter, coach and mentor at every level; Bollant has signed some of the top recruiting classes in each conference in which he has worked.  The team GPA for his programs and graduation rates rank among the top in each conference and his dedication to community service is evident by his winning the FCA Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award in 2015.

“Matt has shown his ability to recruit with top classes at each school he has been associated with,” added Michael.  “He stresses fundamental success in everything his players do; from the court, to the classroom, to the community.  He and his family are the type of people that will be great ambassadors for not Eastern Illinois women’s basketball, but also the university and surrounding areas.”

Bollant is a 1994 graduate of Winona State University.  He and his wife Kari, have two daughters, Abi and Regan.

Photo Courtesy EIU Athletics


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