It’s official. The Michigan basketball program's new assistant coaches will both be coming from Illinois State.
The Wolverines announced in a press release on Friday morning that John Beilein elected to dive into the Redbirds basketball system twice by hiring their associate head coach Luke Yaklich and assistant coach DeAndre Haynes to Michigan’s staff.
"First of all, I would like to thank Illinois State head coach Dan Muller for his professionalism throughout this entire search," Beilein said in a statement. "He reached out to us and recommended Luke and had nothing but great things to say about DeAndre. Losing two coaches is never easy, however, Dan encouraged both to pursue these openings with strong interest knowing it would help them reach their personal goals. He was first class in every way throughout the process."
Yaklich did most of his coaching in the state of Illinois, starting at the high school and AAU levels.
He's a defensive specialist who should be able to replace the empty space that Billy Donlon (Northwestern) left when he departed from Michigan. Yaklich has been with Illinois State since the 2013-14 season and was promoted to the associate head coaching job in 2016.
Beilein addressed those areas when speaking on what Yaklich can bring to the program.
"It was important for us to find someone who could bring a defensive mindset to our basketball program," Beilein said in the press release. "Coach (Billy) Donlon did a great job of that last year, and I was looking for the kind of coach who could replace his energy and knowledge in that area. I believe Luke will bring that kind of attitude to Michigan. In addition to gaining a new set of Midwest recruiting contacts, Luke and Coach Muller made Illinois State one of the nation's best defensive basketball teams over the past four years. We are excited for Luke to bring some of that coaching expertise to us.”
Beilein then went on to talk about how he believes Yaklich can help form relationships with the student-athletes through his “teaching and mentorship” abilities.
Yaklich said that he was ready for the next chance he had to move forward with his coaching career.
"I am incredibly excited and grateful about the opportunity that Coach Beilein has given me to help teach, coach and mentor our student-athletes at the University of Michigan," Yaklich said in a statement. "I look forward to representing the university and our basketball program on and off the court with character, integrity, passion and pride. I would be remiss if I didn't thank Dan Muller for the incredible opportunity to learn and grow as an assistant coach at Illinois State. The support and encouragement he gave to me during this process will not be forgotten."
Haynes on the other hand, is a native of Michigan from the city of Detroit. He played basketball for Kent State and was an All-Mid-American Conference player of the year while also making the All-MAC team.
Being a guard himself during his college playing days, Haynes should be able to help mold the future of Michigan's backcourt.
After coaching with the Golden Flashes and Toledo, Haynes was hired in May to coach at Illinois State. Those plans obviously changed rather quickly.
"DeAndre was exactly what we were looking for during the hiring process of this particular assistant position," Beilein said in a statement. "We wanted someone who really understood and could teach this great game and had experience doing so. We wanted someone who understood guard play and the skill development needed to excel at that position. We wanted someone who was excellent at building and maintaining relationships with the young man we have, as well as recruit and mentoring them during their time at Michigan.
"We were also looking for someone who could be an effective recruiter particularly in the State of Michigan and the footprint of the Big Ten. DeAndre answered the call in all four of those areas. He will join our staff immediately and we are excited to have him get started."
Hayes was excited for the opportunity to come back and coach in the state that he is from.
"Coaching basketball at the University of Michigan has always been a dream of mine," Haynes said in the release. "Being able to coach at Michigan is an amazing chance to learn under a legendary coach like John Beilein as well as the rest of the staff. I am eager to recruit and retain the very best student-athletes that Michigan has come to expect. The State of Michigan is, and will always be, home and for me and my family. It is a wonderful feeling to have this opportunity to return. I truly appreciate Coach Dan Muller for giving me the opportunity to work with him at Illinois State. While it was brief, it was an incredible experience. I wanted to add thanks to the Redbirds family for the support they've given me and my family while we were there and now with this new career path."
It also should be known that Chris Hunter will now get promoted to the Director of Player Personnel, coming now with Waleed Samaha leaving Ann Arbor.
Beilein believes that this is just the start of what Hunter has in store for his future in basketball.
"Chris has been a tremendous asset to our basketball program over these past three years," Beilein said in a statement. "He's going to be an outstanding basketball coach one day. The director of basketball operations position will give him another level of preparation as he readies himself for life in the coaching profession. We are fortunate to have someone of Chris' outstanding talent running the day-to-day operation of our basketball program."