John Beilein Leaving Michigan to Become Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach

John Beilein

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 23: Head coach John Beilein of the Michigan Wolverines shouts against the Florida Gators during the second half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on March 23, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Michigan’s John Beilein has agreed to a 5-year deal to become head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Beilein is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in college basketball, this is his first NBA head coaching job.

The Cavs organization wants Beilein to be a “culture driver” that will install his proven value system to an organization desperate for a new identity in the post-LeBron era. John Beilein hasn’t had a single scandal or accusations of impropriety throughout his 40+ year career. He’s reportedly become frustrated with the recruiting and “one and done” culture of college basketball. The Wolverines are potentially losing freshman Ignas Brazdiekis with Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole to the NBA draft next season.

John Beilein has connections in the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. Jeff Goodman pointed out that Mike Gansey, the number 2 in the Cavs organization, used to play for Beilein at WVU. ESPN reports that Cavs GM Koby Altman has been intrigued by Beilein and Owner Dan Gilbert, who lives and works in Detroit, has been an admirer of the coach for quite some time.

Beilein started his career in 1978 coaching Erie Community College and coached at Richmond, Canisius, Le Moyne, and Nazareth before moving on to larger Division I programs at West Virginia University (2002 – 2007) and Michigan (2007 – 2019). He led the Wolverines to the program’s first two straight 30-win seasons and a third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance in 2019. He leaves Michigan as the program’s all-time winningest coach in men’s basketball history.

The Cleveland Cavaliers mutually parted ways with former head coach Larry Drew after a disastrous 19-63 2018-2019 season following the departure of LeBron James.

Beilein reached a deal with the Cavaliers on Sunday and informed the University of Michigan on Monday morning.

He announced publicly today that he was leaving via Twitter and thanked the University of Michigan for their support.


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