Source: Bruce Weber offered SIU job

Updated: March 20, 2012, 4:02 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Southern Illinois wants Bruce Weber back and has offered the former Illinois coach its head coaching job, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Officially, however, Southern Illinois athletic director Mario Moccia said he has not offered Weber the job. And Weber told ESPN.com Tuesday afternoon that nothing has happened on the job front and that he is trying to just clear his head and plot his future.

Weber left Southern Illinois in 2003 for the Illini. He was 201-101 overall and coached the Illini to six NCAA tournaments, including the national championship game in 2005. He was fired March 9.

Illinois owes Weber $3.9 million over the next three years.

Weber coached at SIU from 1998 to 2003, where he reached two NCAA tournaments and went 103-56. It was Weber's first head coaching position after spending 18 seasons as a Purdue assistant coach.

Southern Illinois' position opened March 2 when Chris Lowery was fired after eight seasons. The Salukis went to the Sweet 16 under Lowery in 2007, but he failed to reach the NCAA tournament again. Lowery was a former assistant to Weber at Illinois.

If Weber doesn't accept the job, Southern Illinois' other top candidates all have head coaching experience, according to a source.

SIU is high on Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller and Kansas assistant and former Missouri State coach Barry Hinson. Marquette assistant Tony Benford and Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti also interviewed.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com. Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz was used in this report.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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