After Michigan loses their best ever Basketball Coach in John Beilein to the NBA, they have replaced him with former Michigan Basketball player and Fab 5 member Juwan Howard. Juwan played at Michigan from 1991-1994 and then played over 20 seasons in the NBA . After his NBA career was over he joined the Miami Heat as an assistant coach under Head Coach Erik Spoelstra from 2013-2019. Howard was heavily endorsed from former teammates from the likes of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade.
Athletic Director Warde Manuel said when he talked to the media regarding the coaching search that he wants a coach with a proven track record as a Head Coach. Three of the four candidates he interviewed had no head coaching experience. The candidates that they interviewed included two internal candidates in Saddi Washington and Luke Yaklich, who both have never been a College Head Coach. Manuel also meet with current Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley. And the fourth and final candidate was Juwan Howard who like Washington and Yaklich has never been a Head Coach.
As a top 10 or 15 best jobs in all of College Basketball, Michigan ran a very underwhelming coaching search. They did not put a lot of effort in this search which makes me believe AD Manuel did not have a short list and was not prepared for a Beilein exit, which he should have been considering John Beilein met with two NBA teams last year. They did not hire a coach who is the best fit or who has the best resume, instead they hired a coach who has no resume at all as a college coach and not much of an NBA coaching resume,and no head coaching experience. Just because he went to college there doesn’t mean that he should be coaching there. Sure it sound cool, coming back to where it all began and representing the University that helped make him who he is but it’s not all what it’s cracked out to be, just ask Chris Mullins and Patrick Ewing.
Could Howard become an elite recruiter, maybe, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves outside of Ann Arbor, Washington D.C., Miami, and Chicago the name Juwan Howard doesn’t do much for people. Could Howard fail completely and ruin his legacy at Michigan, maybe. But if Howard does do well at Michigan and bring the Wolverines continued success, his phone will constantly be ringing to go to the NBA and be a Head Coach there and he’ll definitely consider jumping back to the NBA. Either way if he does good I see him leaving in a few years and if he does bad he will fired in a few years. Howard’s first move at Michigan should be to keep the current staff if possible and then try to get former Michigan 4 star recruit Jalen Wilson to recommit and build off that for recruiting. Somewhere down the road he should definitely get the Fab 5 back in Ann Arbor and bring them back where they belong and maybe even try to get the banners back up, but that is somewhere down the road. I’m not a fan of this hire for Michigan at all but hopefully Juwan proves me wrong and “Shocks The World”.
Thanks for reading, GO BLUE!