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Donlon to leave Michigan, head to Northwestern per

After a short stay for a year in Ann Arbor, assistant coach Billy Donlon will part ways with the Wolverines and coach under lifelong friend Chris Collins at Northwestern.

NCAA Basketball: Wright State at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

For Billy Donlon, it was more of a quick stop than a stay in Ann Arbor.

Donlon, who was an assistant coach to John Beilein starting last summer, will take the same position under Chris Collins at Northwestern, according to’s Brian Snow.

Collins and Donlon both grew up in the suburbs of Chicago (Northbrook), where their friendship began. Their fathers were both coaches in the city in the 1980s.

"From what I've heard, is that Billy has obviously known Chris Collins for a long time," Snow told "Both grew up in the Chicago area and I don't necessarily know how far back their friendship goes, but they've known each other for a long time. They're very comfortable with each other, (Donlon) is comfortable with Chris, he's comfortable with the area so it's kind of a homecoming for him. He's looking for someone who he has a longstanding relationship with."

Donlon only had a one-year deal with the Wolverines that expired on April 30. Fellow assistant Saddi Washington signed the same deal with Donlon last spring.

Michigan held its summer camps over the weekend, and while Washington and head coach John Beilein were participating and observing, Donlon was not in attendance. Washington is expected to stay with the staff and receive a new contract.

Donlon was brought into Michigan to tighten up the defense and make the team stronger on that end of the floor. They struggled mightily to start the season, but made noticeable strides by the end of the season on improved defense.

This is all coming after Jeff Meyer left for Butler to join LaVall Jordan’s staff. Beilein is left with just Washington on his staff currently.

This is much different for Beilein than when Jordan and Bacari Alexander left Michigan after the 2015-16 season. While it is similar with needing two new coaches, the timetable for hiring is closing quickly.

The summer recruiting evaluation period begins July 12 and continues in five-day periods, Wednesday-Sunday for the following three weeks.

Chris Hunter, who is currently the program’s director of player personnel, is the obvious assistant coaching candidate. He could very well be sent as a recruiter for the July period even if he doesn't land the assistant spot.

Hunter played at Michigan in 2002-06, and played a full NBA season with Golden State in 2009-10. He also spent time in the NBA D League where he was an All-Star, and played for a few years in overseas leagues.

Hunter is from Indiana, so if he were to dive into the recruiting field, it could open up more options for where Michigan will look for its talent. Washington has most of his experience within the state of Michigan with some deep ties in the field of recruitment.

Meyer and Jerry Dunn were both coaches that had head coaching experience on Beilein’s bench in the past. Now, he is left without any for the first time in his tenure at Michigan.