After the sudden departure of head coach John Beilein, Michigan basketball finds itself in the market for a new leader for the first time in 12 seasons. Beilein recently accepted an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers to be their next head coach, and since then, the Wolverines have been steadily putting together a list of people who can continue to build off the immense success Beilein had during his time in Ann Arbor. Current Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan is reportedly atop that list, per Forbes, along with Butler coach LaVall Jordan.
Jalen Rose, a Michigan alum and member of its famous Fab Five squad, thinks the school should look to one of his former teammates for its next head coach.
“There’s a guy named Juwan Howard that’s from Chicago, which means he’s going to be able to recruit that market,” Rose said during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up! on Friday. “That, not only was he an All-American in high school, but came to the University of Michigan, was a member of the Fab Five, and he was the first person to sign their Letter of Intent. And he also helped recruit each one of us. And for those that don’t know, he was always the adult in the room amongst us.”
Howard has been an assistant with the Miami Heat since 2013, and has worked with guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade during his time in South Beach. Rose said that the hiring of Howard would also go a long way toward defrosting the icy relationship Michigan has had with the Fab Five since they formed as freshman during the 1991-1992 college basketball season.
“This is an amazing opportunity for them to get a young, terrific head coaching candidate that just so happens to be a former member of the Fab Five,” Rose said. “It would mean that the hatchet is officially buried.”
Howard has been interviewing for a handful of NBA head coaching jobs, some of which have already been filled. He was a candidate for the Lakers job before the team settled on Frank Vogel, and was also interviewed by the Cleveland Cavaliers before they plucked Beilein away from Michigan.