Over the last two seasons, Michigan basketball has been known for its tenacious defense led by assistant coach Luke Yaklich. The identity almost immediately changed when Juwan Howard was named head coach of the Wolverines last week, but now the on-court product will certainly look different, as Yaklich has reportedly accepted a deal to be an assistant coach on Shaka Smart’s staff at the University of Texas.
Sources: Texas' Shaka Smart is expected to hire former Michigan assistant Luke Yaklich as an assistant coach. Was the Wolverines' defensive coordinator over the past few seasons.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 29, 2019
This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you are a Michigan fan. It had been more than a week since Howard’s hiring, and nothing had been said by Warde Manuel or Howard in regards to the assistant coaching staff.
With Howard seemingly wanting to bring in his own staff, it was only a matter of time before Yaklich accepted the deal to coach in Austin.
But to say Yaklich isn’t a loss to the program would be asinine. The Wolverines held the No. 2 scoring defense in the country last season (58.3 PPG) under the guidance of Yaklich. They were also No. 9 in fewest turnovers (336), No. 16 in defensive field goal percentage (39.7) and No. 6 in 3-point field goal defense (29.1 percent).
In his first season at Michigan, Yaklich turned the defense into a true strength. The defense was No. 6 in the country (63.3 PPG) and held opponents to 50 or less points seven times.
We wish Yaklich nothing but the best of luck at Texas and in the Big 12.