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Michigan basketball hires Phil Martelli as assistant coach

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Martelli coached St. Joseph’s for 24 seasons.

Saint Joseph’s v Oregon Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The biggest knock on Michigan’s hire of Juwan Howard is he had no experience as a head coach at any level.

How have the Michigan Wolverines decide to combat that? They go and hire one of the most experienced coaches in the country, Phil Martelli, to an assistant position.

Martelli confirmed the news himself on Twitter.

As head coach, Martelli led Saint Joseph’s to seven NCAA Tournaments in 24 years. He also won AP Coach of the Year and the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2004 as he led Saint Joseph’s to the AP No. 1 ranking in the regular season, an Elite Eight run in the tournament, and a 30-2 overall record with a 16-0 record in conference play. He has also been the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times.

Offensive firepower is the focus of Martelli’s teams. In 13 of his 24 seasons, the Hawks averaged more than 70 points per game.

However, Martelli’s teams struggled over the past three seasons, going 41-55. His defense at St. Joe’s allowed more than 70 points per game over the last four seasons.

But, in 2013-14 and 2015-16, he led the Hawks to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, winning as the 8-seed and 10-seed respectively.

Martelli has the most wins in Saint Joseph’s history, but he also has the most losses. Overall, he led the Hawks to a 444-328 record. After 24 seasons, it seems Martelli still has more in the tank.

His experience alone will be an extremely important addition to this staff. He will likely also shape Howard’s offense and help solidify schemes to score efficiently and effectively.