Michigan Contract Extension Talks With Beilein Ongoing

Michigan Contract Extension Talks With Beilein Ongoing

Basketball

Michigan Contract Extension Talks With Beilein Ongoing


Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein is eager to get his contract extension finished and call Ann Arbor his forever home.


Michigan Contract Extension Talks With Beilein Ongoing

John Beilein doesn’t have an agent.

It’s something of a rarity for a head coach who commands a multi-million dollar salary on a yearly basis, and especially for one who’s made two NCAA National Championship appearances within a five year span.

But that’s just how Beilein likes it, and having made several stops in his coaching career, it makes sense for him. He knows the ropes at this point, and doesn’t feel like he needs an intermediary.

And now, after his latest championship run, Beilein is in the middle of negotiations with the Michigan Athletic Department that will keep him in Ann Arbor for good.

That’s music to fans of the maize and blue, who just had to stomach Beilein nearly — possibly — departing for the local NBA team in the Detroit Pistons. The 11th-year Michigan head coach notes that he was never offered that job — which ultimately went to former Toronto Raptors coach and NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey — but given his success since taking over what was then a moribund program in 2007, there’s comfort — for both fans and Beilein — that he retires a Wolverine.

And while the contract isn’t finalized, it should be soon, Beilein says. Negotiations continue, but as he told media at his Tuesday press conference, he and Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel are on the same page.

“Warde and I are eyeball to eyeball,” Beilein said. “I had an agent up until I went to West Virginia. I went through, I had eight different jobs, and I didn’t have an agent for the first six, and then, all of a sudden, I got an agent for the seventh, and I figured, I don’t need this. I’m not – I’m not going to say I’m super-intelligent, but there are some pretty simple things about a contract, and talking man-to-man, (we have) an understanding. Warde has been terrific through it all.”

Locking Beilein up has been a priority for Michigan, especially given the Wolverines runs the past two seasons.

During the year and the regular season, the maize and blue had moments where they looked shaky — at best. But, once the team reached the annual, season-end Big Ten Tournament, the Wolverines were rolling and triumphant — winning both en route to successful NCAA Tournament runs.

The 65-year old head coach says that he hopes that this can all be over with soon, so that when the August-September recruiting dead period comes to a close, that the contract concerns will be a thing of the past.

Not just for his own sake — but also that he can ensure the players already on the roster, and those looking at a prospective college career in Ann Arbor, can rest assured that Beilein will be there running the ship.

“We’ll get to a point where one T has to be crossed or something has to be – or somebody’s out of town and – hopefully before we hit the road. It could be tomorrow or it could at least be before we hit the road recruiting. We want the recruits that we’re involved with and our current players to know the plan is to continue coaching here.”

Along with Beilein being taken care of, so too will his assistants. While that was important to him, he credits Manuel for approaching him last year broaching the subject. To ensure that the basketball staff is competitive, Michigan wants to make sure the program pays those below Beilein competitive salaries.

But, also, Beilein says that the plan isn’t just to give out a number of years and call it a day. He and Manuel are approaching the situation looking at a rolling contract — meaning, when one expires in, say, three years, the next three year contract kicks in, with terms already agreed upon.

That is, until one side says, ‘that’s enough.’

“It will be a rolling contract, that if I’m not notified, if they’re not rolling over, they’ll notify me,” Beilein said. “This is new territory for just about everybody in their life once they get to this point. But I feel good. I’m working out – right Dre? You see me! I’m working out hard! I’m working out, doing squats and everything. I feel good, so I don’t know when I’m (done). The whole idea is, let’s not get to this thing where every three years you’ve got to put an extension in because it’s working. And Warde has a lot of faith in that. When the day comes, I’ll know when it comes. And there won’t be any big deal – it’ll be like, ‘Coach resigned today.’ That’s – I know when it will be the right time, but it’s not now.”

And now, with these discussions, Beilein’s dalliance with the NBA is over, he says.

Sure, the opportunity with the Detroit Pistons was intriguing, and his friend Brad Stevens — head coach of the Boston Celtics — had sung the praises of working a head coaching job in the professional ranks. But, given his track record in Ann Arbor and skill for developing young talent, Beilein is done having wandering eyes.

Now, he’s willing and ready to remain a Wolverine for as long as the program will have him. And he wants to be a part of a Big Ten Conference that has continued to be competitive at the NCAA level — but whose championship aspirations have evaded it.

“I think that I ran that race, and you can’t run that race too many times,” Beilein said of his courtship with the Pistons. “I ran that race. Like I said, I don’t know what I would have done, but I was really impressed with everyone in that organization and I’ll be rooting for them, just like I always have.

“Stan Van Gundy is a great friend of mine and was one of the first guys that texted me when word came out. I’ll be rooting for them, but where I am right now, I just want to make Michigan – this decade of Michigan basketball has been pretty good. I want to finish this decade and beyond having this really good program. It is always in the hunt for Big Ten Championships – as you know. Ask anyone in the Top 5 – in the hunt is a couple games out. Because I think this league is going to be really excellent in the years to come.”

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