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Jim Molinari, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Western Illinois University
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Molinari Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Western Illinois University

April 11, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Jim Molinari was introduced as Western Illinois University's head men's basketball coach at a press conference April 11. The 19th head coach in school history and the fourth in Western's Division I era, Molinari replaces Derek Thomas, who resigned March 11 after five seasons.

"Coach Molinari provides instant credibility in the region, in the state and also on a national basis," said Western Illinois University Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine. "His educational background is exactly what we need. It mirrors our core value of educational excellence, and we are very excited to have him on board. More so than anything, Jim brings confidence to our program. He has confidence in the university, he has confidence in the administration, and more importantly he has confidence in our student-athletes. The primary thing that separated him is that he knows that he can win here at Western Illinois University."

Molinari brings 28 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to the Leathernecks, compiling a 223-186 (.545) career record in 14 years as a head coach. He served last season as an assistant coach at Ball State, following a three-year stint at Minnesota in which he was the interim head coach for most of the 2006-07 season. Throughout his career he has appeared in 19 postseason tournaments, including seven as a head coach.

"This is the right fit," said Molinari. "Everyone I met has been open with me. I'm so excited, and I have to battle the overwhelming feeling. The real excitement will come when you get in the middle of it all. It just feels right. I have called timeouts in the first four minutes of games when we're up 6-2 if things don't feel right, but this feels right."

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