Ex-U of M coach Beilein: Cavs ‘equally as special’

NCAA Hoops

CLEVELAND (WOOD) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have made their new hire of former University of Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein official.

The NBA team formally introduced their new coach during a news conference late Tuesday morning, which was livestreamed on WOOD TV8’s Facebook page.

“I left the greatest university in the world. Some of you Ohio State people may not agree with that, but left the greatest university in the world, a place that was special to Kathleen and I and our entire family to come to some place I think was equally as special,” he said.

Cleveland lured Beilein from Michigan just a year after he signed a long-term deal with the Wolverines. News of Beilein’s move broke on May 13.

Beilein leaves U of M after 12 years, with a 829-468 record as a college coach. Beilein, 66, signed a five-year contract with the Cavaliers last week.

“I feel so good and I hated leaving a great place like the University of Michigan. It could only be for something special like this. We have something special like here right here in front of us,” Beilein said Tuesday.

Beilein’s formal coaching announcement came a day after the Cavaliers hired former Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff as an associate head coach.

Michigan is already interviewing for its next basketball coach. ESPN reports Miami Heat assistant and former U of M player Juwan Howard was expected to be interviewed for the job Tuesday.

The Wolverines were also considering Providence head coach Ed Cooley, who interviewed for the post Monday. However, Providence announced Tuesday that Cooley had signed a contract extension to stay with their school, and removed his name for consideration for the Michigan job.

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