Juwan Howard and the University of Michigan Men’s Basketball program officially announced his assistant coaches for his debut season with the program in 2019-20 on Friday afternoon. Joining Howard, a former member of the program’s famed Fab Five and first-time head coach, will be former St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli, former NBA assistant Howard Eisley and Saddi Washington, who is being retained after spending the last few seasons as an assistant under John Beilein.
“When I took this job, I told everyone I was looking to fill the staff with experienced basketball coaches who are egoless, hardworking and ones that will help our young men grow both on and off the court -- I feel I have done that,” Howard said. “Phil is so highly respected in the sport of basketball -- on every level -- it is an honor that he has decided to join us. He brings such a wealth of knowledge and creativity which I know will be beneficial as we move forward.
”Howard and I have known each other for a long time. We have competed against each other and risen up the NBA coaching ranks together. It’s going to be great to finally be working and collaborating together. Observing what Saddi has accomplished over his last three years has been just amazing. His versatility and coaching style resonates with kids and that will be valuable. I am so pleased he decided to remain on our staff.
”I cannot wait to get started on this journey.”
Per the Michigan release, each assistant has signed a two-year deal with the program with options attached for a third season.
Martelli spent the last 24 seasons as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s. He is the Hawks’ all-time leader in career victories with a mark of 444-328. He set the school record for most wins in a season (30) in 2004 and has recorded nine 20-plus win seasons -- the most for any Hawks’ coach.
He won six Atlantic 10 regular season/divisional titles (1997, 2001, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04 and ‘05) and guided the Hawks to three A-10 Tournament championships (1997, 2014 and ‘16). Martelli made 13 postseason appearances (7 NCAA, 6 NIT) and advanced to two NCAA Sweet 16s (1997 and 2004) as well as made the school’s third ever Elite Eight appearance in 2004. He led Saint Joseph’s to a pair of NIT runner-up finishes -- in his first season at the helm in 1996 and again in 2005. His 18 postseason wins (7 NCAA, 11 NIT) are the most in Saint Joseph’s history.
Eisley comes to the Wolverines after spending the last 10 years coaching in the NBA. For the past decade Eisley has moved up the ranks from a player development assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers to an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards (2014-16) and New York Knicks (2016-19). Before moving into a coaching role, Eisley was the 30th overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft and played 12 seasons in the NBA with stops with eight teams -- Minnesota, San Antonio, Utah, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, the Clippers and Denver.
Before his professional career Eisley was a four-year starter at Boston College (1991-94). He helped guide the Eagles to the 1994 NCAA East Regional final and earned all-regional tournament honors. He added All-Big East second team honors as a junior (1993) and senior (1994). Prior to his collegiate career, Eisley was a prep standout at Detroit’s Southwestern High School, where he was teammates with future NBA players Jalen Rose and Voshon Lenard.
In his three seasons with U-M, Washington has helped the Wolverines win 89 games (29.6 per season) including a program-record 33 wins during the 2017-18 campaign, followed with a second 30-win season in 2018-19. During his tenure, U-M has won two Big Ten Tournament titles, advanced to three straight NCAA Sweet 16s, and reached the Final Four and national title game in 2018.
Responsible for coaching U-M’s big men, Washington was instrumental in the development of Moritz Wagner, who earned All-Big Ten Conference honors for two straight years and went on to become the 25th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Wagner was the second U-M big man drafted under Washington’s tutelage, joining D.J. Wilson, who was selected with the 17th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017.