- John Beilein left Michigan to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday
- The Wolverines need a new coach and the candidate list is intriguing
- Former UM great Juwan Howard is the early favorite to take over the maize and blue
At the start of the 2007-2008 college basketball season, John Beilein’s first at Michigan, the Wolverines had not gone to the NCAA Tournament in nine straight years. They had won a total of one NCAA Tournament game in 13 seasons dating back to the Fab Five glory days.
Beilein’s tenure at Michigan is now over after accepting the head job with the Cleveland Cavs. In his 12 year tenure he restored Michigan to glory. Beilein led the Wolverines to nine big dances, five Sweet 16s, and two national title games. Who will take the mantle from the legend?
Books have odds on who will become the next coach of Michigan. The options range from successful NBA guys who have a background in college, a step back to the Michigan glory days, the Beilein tree, and other hot college coaches.
Who will be the next basketball coach at Michigan?
|Coach||Book 1 Odds||Book 2 Odds|
|Billy Donovan||+600||no line|
|Brad Stevens||+1200||no line|
|Chris Beard||no line||+325|
|Rick Pitino||no line||+475|
|Bob McKillop||no line||+2200|
|Jay Wright||no line||+2200|
|Johnny Dawkins||no line||+2200|
|Porter Moser||no line||+2200|
|Steve Wojciechowski||no line||+2200|
*Odds taken 05/14/19
The Beilein Tree
In a dozen years at Michigan, Beilein went 278-150. Why not keep it in the family?
For half of Beilein’s tenure in Ann Arbor, LaVall Jordan was one of his assistants. Jordan left to become the head coach at Milwaukee in 2016-17. He spent one year with the Panthers going 11-24 before being hired at Butler. He went 21-14 during his first campaign in Indianapolis and won an NCAA Tournament game, before finishing 16-17 last season with an NIT berth.
Michigan has two players signed for this year and one for next season. The two current assistant coaches might be the best bet for continuity and holding the recruiting classes together.
Defensive mastermind Luke Yaklich has been on staff for two years after spending time at Illinois State. Saddi Washington has been at Michigan for three years after his tenure at Oakland University. Neither has ever been a college head coach, though.
A Michigan Man
Michigan basketball has never been better than the Fab Five era. Steve Fisher’s tenure in the late 80s and early 90s saw a title in 1989 and two more trips to the championship game in 1992 and 1993.
Juwan Howard was a star on those teams and is a viable candidate. He has been a Miami Heat assistant since 2013, and was recently in the mix for head NBA jobs. That said, his time at Michigan was scrutinized by the NCAA, and Beilein seemingly ran a very clean program.
The Celtics’ Brad Stevens, who had a ton of success at Butler, should certainly be high on the Michigan wishlist, but is he available? Stevens took Butler to two NCAA title games and went 166-49 at Butler. However, he has done well in Boston, even if he is self critical.
Billy Donovan was another wildly successful college coach before moving to the NBA. Donovan earned two titles at Florida and won over 70-percent of his games in 19 years, totalling 502 victories.
He’s reached the playoffs all four seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder but has not won a playoff series since his first campaign. His seat could be getting hotter, and Michigan may be intriguing.
We have covered the Rick Pitino angle elsewhere and, as detailed by our other Dave, he is a great coach with lots of baggage.
Chris Beard has done a remarkable job going from D3 to D2 to D1 and the Final Four. However, the former Bob Knight protege just signed a new deal at Texas Tech and that is the region he is from.
There is no reason to believe Jay Wright is leaving Villanova, but Bobby Hurley flirted with St. John’s before heading back to Arizona State. Michigan is a much better job that St. John’s or ASU.
There is no reason to believe Jay Wright is leaving Villanova.
Florida coach Mike White has the same demeanor as Beilein, no NCAA baggage, and could be viable, though he has only one trip to the Sweet 16.
Loyola’s Porter Moser took the Ramblers to the Final Four two years ago, but he has failed to reach the big dance in 14 of 15 seasons as a college head coach.
Jordan, Howard, Donovan, and Hurley all make a lot of sense. Settling for short odds is not advisable. There is probably value with any of them at 5/1 or greater, but right now Hurley at 22/1 is a good play.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.