It looks like Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was finally able to lure that big time college head coach from the state of Michigan to Cleveland after all.
John Beilein has signed a multi-year contract to become the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers leaving Michigan after 12 years. Various reports say it’s a 5-year deal.
Gilbert has tried unsuccessfully in recent years to pull another Michigan man from the college ranks in Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, so instead he set his sights on the Wolverines head man and convinced him to leave Ann Arbor.
The 66 year old Beilein confirmed via Twitter that he was leaving his post at Michigan:
Thanks to everyone at the Univ of Michigan for their incredible support these last 12 years. Our fans , alums , leaders, players and students are AMAZING It has been a heck of a ride and I hope you enjoyed our teams and staff as much as I did! Go Blue Forever! #GoBlue
He led the Wolverines to two National Championship games(2013, 2018), two Final Fours and four Big Ten tournament and regular-season titles in his 12-year run in Ann Arbor. Before taking the Michigan job he was the head coach at West Virginia and with current Cavs assistant general manager Mike Gansey playing for him, Beilein took West Virginia to an Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteen appearances. Beilein also led two other division one programs to the NCAA tournament, Canisius and Richmond.
Reports say that the Cavaliers plan to surround Beilein with an experienced staff of NBA assistants. Possibilities include former Canton Charge head coaches Jordi Fernandez and Alex Jensen, as well as other assistant coaches around the league with former Cavs ties.
Read the Cavaliers official press release here:
Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that University of Michigan Head Coach John Beilein and the team have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract for Beilein to become the new Head Coach of the Cavaliers. The announcement was made by Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman.
“We conducted a deep and thorough search to find the best possible candidate for the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. We interviewed several strong and talented candidates who, no doubt, will get an opportunity to become an NBA head coach somewhere down the line,” said Altman. “Following the end of those interviews, it became clear to us that Coach Beilein was the right choice and best fit for our franchise. John is one of the most accomplished and innovative basketball minds and leaders in the entire game. He has a unique ability to create an outstanding culture that will promote the development of young players and provide a solid structure to the entire program; not to mention the fact that John Beilein wins everywhere he goes. We are excited Coach Beilein is joining our organization as we continue to build the foundation that any enterprise needs to be successful and competitive year in and year out.”
Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert provided additional perspective and thoughts about Coach Beilein and the search process that resulted in the hiring.
We could not be more thrilled to name John Beilein as the new coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” said Gilbert. “First, John is a great human being. He cares deeply about his players and others who work for him and around him. He defines the words class, integrity and character. He is a tireless worker who obsesses about finding better ways and the inches that will help his team and the organization grow. John is a brilliant basketball mind and last but not least, John Beilein is a winner. I also want to thank Koby and his hardworking staff for turning over every rock while relentlessly searching for our new head coach since the minute this past season ended. It is no surprise that Koby and his team landed on John Beilein as great cultures attract others who hold the same values as the foundation for everything they do. I can’t wait for next season to begin.”
Beilein has compiled a career record of 829-468 (.639) as a collegiate head coach. He has recorded 20-plus win seasons on 23 occasions and has finished with a winning record in 35 seasons, placing him in the top 10 for career victories among active NCAA Division I head coaches.
“I want to thank the University of Michigan for what has been a truly special home and remarkable place for my family and I for the last 12 years. We have achieved great success together and we could not have done it without the incredible support of our administration, coaches, players, staff, students, fans and the entire university community. We shared some of the best moments of my life together and I will always be grateful for that, ” said Beilein. “At the same time, I felt very strongly about this new and exciting opportunity with the Cavaliers. I am very thankful to Dan Gilbert and Koby Altman and honored to be the head coach of the Cavaliers. I love the position the team is in to build and grow and this was something I felt was the perfect fit for me. With hard work and dedication by all of us, we will grow this team day by day and reinforce a culture of success that sustains itself with strong core values. Cleveland is a great city with amazing fans and I am really looking forward to calling Cleveland home for years to come.”
Beilein has 20 career postseason appearances — 13 in the NCAA Division I Tournament, six in the NIT and one in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Beilein is also one of 14 coaches to have taken four different Division I schools to the NCAA Tournament — Canisius (1996), Richmond (1998), West Virginia (2005, ’06) and Michigan (2009, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’16, ’17, ’18, ‘19). Under Beilein, Michigan made nine NCAA Tournament appearances while also winning two Big Ten regular season and two Big Ten Tournament titles. In 12 seasons at Michigan, Beilein became the winningest coach in school history.
Beilein took Michigan to the Final Four and a pair of National Championship Game appearances in 2013 and 2018, with the trip to the title game in 2013 being the first in 20 years for the school.
Most recently in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Beilein guided Michigan to its third consecutive Sweet 16, and the fifth in his tenure in Ann Arbor, putting Michigan alongside Gonzaga and Kentucky as the only three schools to reach the Sweet 16 in each of the last three seasons.
Prior to his tenure at Michigan, Beilein brought great success to the West Virginia University men’s basketball program for five seasons. Under his direction, the Mountaineers compiled a record of 104-60 and earned four consecutive postseason berths, including two straight Sweet 16 appearances in 2005 and 2006. During the Mountaineers’ 2005 NCAA Tournament run, West Virginia advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 42 years. During his time at West Virginia, Beilein coached current Cavaliers Assistant General Manager Mike Gansey, who was one of 10 finalists for the 2006 Oscar Robertson Award.
Beilein spent five seasons at Richmond (1997-2002) and closed with a 100-53 (.654) record, reaching the 100-win mark the fastest in Richmond history and giving him the second-highest winning percentage in school history as well. Prior to arriving at Richmond, Beilein spent five years at Canisius (1992-97), nine seasons (1983-1992) at Division II Le Moyne and one season with Nazareth College.
Collegiately, Beilein played four seasons (1971-75) at Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University) serving as team captain during his junior season. He is also a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. Beilein received a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling before earning a master’s degree in education from Niagara in 1981.
Beilein represented USA Basketball as a court coach at the 2009 team trials for the Under-19 World Championship and as an assistant coach under Bob McKillop (Davidson) for the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
A native of Burt, New York, Beilein and his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, have four children together — daughter, Seana (Hendricks) and three sons, Patrick, Mark and Andrew. The Beilein’s have four grandchildren — Finley, Johnny and Charlie with daughter Seana and a fourth, Tommy, with son Patrick.