KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bruce Weber resigned as the basketball coach at Kansas State on Thursday, one day after the Wildcats lost to West Virginia in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament to cap a third straight losing season.
Weber made headlines following the loss to the Mountaineers at T-Mobile Center on Wednesday night when he lambasted the NCAA over its handling of the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. Weber said he had refused to cut his hair until schools that were identified in the probe were punished, which some took as a swipe at rival Kansas.
“We won titles. We did it the right way,” said Weber, who led the Wildcats to a share of two Big 12 regular-season titles in 10 seasons in Manhattan. “I’m on the NCAA ethics committee. I was told they were going to take care of the people in the FBI stuff, so I told somebody I’m going to grow my hair until something happens. Obviously, it’s still growing.
“That’s the sad part about our business,” Weber added. “Lon Kruger told me the other day, all the guys in the FBI (probe) except one are in the NCAA Tournament. All those teams are going to be in the NCAA Tournament.”
Weber was a largely unpopular pick to replace Frank Martin when he was hired by former athletic director John Currie in 2012, shortly after he was fired by Illinois. Weber was mulling several mid-major jobs when Currie selected him to take over a program that had suddenly shot to national prominence on the back of six straight 20-win seasons.
Weber kept the momentum going for a while, too. He led the Wildcats to a share of the Big 12 title in his first season, made five NCAA Tournaments in his first seven seasons and added a share of another conference title just four years ago.
But the past few years have been a struggle, and all the hard-won support Weber had gained over most of the previous decade simply disappeared. He was forced to completely rebuild the roster after the 2019 season, then struggled to recruit at a level to get the Wildcats back to the point where they were competing for championships.
They went 9-20 last season and 14-17 this season, leaving Weber – who took the Illini to the national championship game in 2005 – with a 184-147 record with the Wildcats. His career mark, including a highly successful run at Southern Illinois that included two NCAA tourney appearances, stands at 407-301 with 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m very, very proud of my time here,” Weber said Wednesday night. “It was a long, long time that we won a championship and I told the guys, the funny part and the sad part, I didn’t get much credit for that, and they all said it wasn’t my guys, but I would tell you probably the closest group of all of my 40-some years of coaching in that group.
“Then we did it with our guys,” Weber continued. “Whatever happens in the future happens, and that’s fine. K-State is a great place, great people.”