University of Michigan Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced Wednesday (May 22), former Wolverine All-American and NBA All-Star Juwan Howard has been named the men’s basketball head coach. “I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan’s storied basketball program,” said Howard. “I have been very fortunate to be part of a great championship organization in the Miami Heat for the last nine years — three as a player and six as a coach. It was always going to take something incredibly special to for me to leave Miami; however, I know in my heart this is the right place and the right time.
“As a ‘Michigan Man’ I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level. We will continue to develop young men on the court, in the classroom and in the community that our fan base will continue to be proud of. It feels great to be coming home. Go Blue!”
Howard agreed to a five-year deal, starting at $2 million annually, with a base salary of $400,000.
From John Beilein: “The selection of Juwan was a fabulous one. He loves UM, knows hoops & has a thirst to coach. He is a great fit to lead UM into the next decade of Michigan Basketball. I will be rooting for Juwan & team every game!”
Chris Webber said he believes hiring his former Fab Five teammate would “bring everyone back together.” Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show, Webber said: “To coach as well as Beilein is going to be tough. And then to recruit and out recruit Izzo and Coach K who take the talent from the Detroit area and the Michigan area (will be tough). Juwan is a Michigan man. I know he will work his butt off harder than any other coach would and I know his compassion. I know there is no other job he would want more than (Michigan).”
LeBron James tweeted: “Man WHAT!!!!?? Absolutely the right choice and i hope it becomes a done deal ASAP!! One of my favorite people I’ve ever met at the age of 16 and been around since then.”