As the dust begins to the settle from Juwan Howard’s hiring as Michigan’s head coach of the men’s basketball team, assistant news is starting to slowly come in. Following reports that Luke Yaklich is set to join Shaka Smart’s staff at Texas, a pair of John Beilein assistants remain in the mix to stick around in Ann Arbor.
According to Brendan Quinn of The Athletic, Howard is set to retain Saddi Washington as an assistant on his coaching staff. DeAndre Haynes’ status is currently up in the air and it remains to be seen if he will be back.
Per sources, U-M assistant Luke Yaklich is indeed headed to Texas. Not official, but in the works. First reported by @JonRothstein.— Brendan Quinn (@BFQuinn) May 29, 2019
Additionally, Saddi Washington, I am told by sources, will be retained by Juwan Howard as a member of the U-M staff.
DeAndre Haynes remains tbd.
Washington just completed his third season at Michigan as an assistant under Beilein’s watch. Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons as an assistant at Oakland University under head coach Greg Kampe. He got his start in coaching under now-Alabama and former Buffalo head coach Nate Oats when the two worked together at Romulus High School in Romulus, Michigan.
Washington, along with Yaklich, were reported to be in the mix for the head coaching vacancy once Beilein left to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. Washington was the interim head coach for Beilein last summer after his heart surgery when the team traveled overseas and also took over in the game at Penn State this year after Beilein was ejected.
Howard’s calling card in the NBA has been working and developing big men, which is something that Washington has been tasked with since he came to Michigan. He has had a hand in the breakout seasons of D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner and helped both become first round picks in the NBA Draft, so the fit with Howard is natural and gives a long-tenured and experienced college assistant. As a bridge between two eras, this is great news for Michigan.
Losing Yaklich hurts, but Washington is another big win for Howard as he gets the ball rolling in Ann Arbor. The other was the retaining of strength coach Jon Sanderson, who was announced to be returning last week by Howard himself. His work with the program has helped players phyiscally develop and take the next step by putting the reps in during weight sessions.