Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein is taking his talents to the NBA and has become the new head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This comes after Beilein was a finalist for the Detroit Pistons head coaching job in 2018.
Per the Detroit Free Press, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has been prepared if Beilein was to ever receive another offer from an NBA team:
“A source with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press on Monday that, after Beilein’s talks with the Pistons last year, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel became convinced that Beilein would leave Michigan if/when he received another offer from a pro team.
Manuel, per the source, has had a short list of candidates ready since that time. Michigan athletic department leadership has started the process of examining future candidates, though no names have been made clear at this time.”
This was a wise thing of Manuel to do. Michigan could be scrambling in a frantic manner with Beilein leaving, but Manuel was convinced that if an NBA team offered Beilein a head coaching gig, he’d take it. Because of Manuel’s foresight, Michigan is further down the road with their list of candidates than they would have been otherwise.
Currently, we really don’t know what the list looks like, who’s on the list, how many candidates there are, how many will be added to the list, etc. What we do know is this is a big decision for the Michigan basketball program, who have been trending in the right direction ever since Beilein was hired over a decade ago.
Michigan has become a top-tier destination to play college hoops, but with Beilein leaving, Michigan will have to make a slam dunk hire to continue the success fans and players have been accustomed to seeing.