Former Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball coach John Beilein is back working in the NBA. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Tuesday evening that Beilein has accepted a role with the Detroit Pistons as the Senior Advisor of Player Development.
Beilein spent 12 seasons at the helm of Michigan’s program before jumping to the NBA as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019-20. His tenure there ended early after some strife with the players in just a 54-game stay. He did not coach anywhere this past season.
“The Pistons are hiring former Cavaliers and Michigan coach John Beilein as their director of player development, league sources say,” Stein tweeted. “After all his Michigan success, John Beilein was hired to coach the Cavaliers entering the 2019-20 season and lasted just 54 games. Beilein had a frequent presence at Pistons games this season and will be formally named as Senior Advisor Player Development this week, sources say.”
The Pistons and Beilein have had contact with each other in the past. Detroit had him on the shortlist to replace Stan Van Gundy as the head coach in 2018 before hiring Dwane Casey. Casey just wrapped up his third season and was given an extension earlier this year.
Beilein’s tenure at Michigan was defined by his ability to squeeze every drop of potential out of the players on the roster, sending several first-round picks to the NBA. The man has always had an eye for talent and potential and while his role within the Pistons organization is still unknown. Given Pistons GM Troy Weaver’s ability to evaluate young talent and build a roster, Beilein heading there in an advisory role seems like a slam dunk hire.
There are those out there who still believe that Beilein may coach collegiately again one day, but the programs he tends to build take several years to bear fruit. This seems like a good opportunity for him to stay in the game and put his keen eye to good use without the spotlight on him.