In a world where it is nearly impossible to keep a secret, the negotiation and offer of the Michigan Basketball coaching job to John Beilein has been fairly well hidden. Oh, and Andy Katz pronounced it "Bee-line," so that must be right (confirmed: Wikipedia). While we all know there is something going on, we are not sure what it is. Looks like we have to pay $2.5 million dollars to buyout his contract. And while I must admit that before Amaker's graceful exit I had never heard of Coach B, the fact we have to dump cash that amounts to more than twice Lloyd Carr's salary gives this guy instant credibility, at least for me. Couple that with a Elite 8 and Sweet 16 appearance in the two seasons prior to this year's NIT glory, and perhaps we've found ourselves a coach. I've heard some impressive jargon, like "runs a set offense based on a modified backdoor Princeton style."
Stop. You had me at offense.
I'm not sure what it is that makes me trust Bill Martin's decision making, maybe it's the fact that he personally answers all of his email, that he was once chaired the Olympic Committee, or that he formed a four person committee that includes 1984 NIT MVP Tim McCormick to find a new coach. (The blogosphere calls that "tongue in cheek.") Whatever it is, I like the guy, really. He sacked up to dump Tommy, even when Mary Sue was against it because of her love for Stephanie Amaker. He's done right by the football team, keeping Michigan men coaching Michigan (read "left Lloyd alone"), properly honoring Bo, modernizing the Old House with some Club Seating and suites (ya, I'm pro renovation), and adding seat licenses that are still among the cheapest of the elite programs. And while he's made a few mistakes (Amaker, Crisler Arena, Appalachian State) he has done an honorable job saving an athletic department that was crooked and hemorrhaged money under Tom Goss. They call it "benefit of the doubt." Not sure why, but that's what they call it.
There will be loads of questions to be answered regarding the incoming coach...
- Can he hang on to the incoming class? Will Legion, Harris, and Grady stay?
- Can he recruit in the 'D'?
- How will he handle the power of the angry midget? Will he have to?
From the growing internet buzz, this looks like a done deal. I mean, if MGoBlog says it...it's true. And he's got it at 95% based on West Virginia insiders saying that they are openly looking for a new coach.
So the Beilein era begins at Crisler. Change is good.