Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has now spoken on the record about John Beilein’s decision to leave Ann Arbor to take a job in the NBA as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, saying in a statement that the search is underway for the next men’s basketball coach at the university.
“I was saddened when John told me this morning of his decision to leave Michigan for a head coaching position in the NBA. However, I am incredibly thankful for his 12 years of service to this university,” Manuel said in the statement. “Above and beyond being our all-time winningest coach, John is a tremendous role model for the game of college basketball. He is an outstanding educator, community member and a man of great integrity, and he and Kathleen will be missed. My priority now is to commence a full national search for our next basketball coach.”
No reported names have emerged yet as potential replacements, but Manuel saying that they will conduct a nationwide search indicates they will not quickly move on and promote in-house, though Luke Yaklich and Saddi Washington are both still likely in the mix for the job.
Beilein, who spent 12 years at Michigan, won the Big Ten regular season title twice and conference tournament twice while also leading the team to two final fours and national title game appearances, among his many other accomplishments since taking over the program. The Cavaliers officially announced his hiring on Monday after the news dropped in the morning.
For a list of potential candidates for the job, here is our piece from the initial wave of news on Monday morning.