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Juwan Howard has been fired as Michigan's men's basketball coach, the school announced on Friday. 

"After a comprehensive review of the program, I have decided that Juwan will not return as our men's basketball coach," Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "Juwan is among the greatest Wolverines to ever be associated with our basketball program. I know how much it meant, to not only Juwan, but to all of us for him to return here to lead this program. Despite his love of his alma mater and the positive experience that our student-athletes had under his leadership, it was clear to me that the program was not living up to our expectations and not trending in the right direction. I am thankful for Juwan's dedication, passion and commitment to U-M and for all that he, and his legacy, will continue to mean to Michigan."

Howard, a famed member of the Fab Five, went 82-67 in five years and made two NCAA Tournaments. His tenure ends on the heels of one of the worst Michigan campaigns ever. The Wolverines went 8-24 this season and finished last in the 14-team Big Ten. It was the first time since 1966-67 Michigan finished in last place, its 24 losses the most by U-M in school history. The Wolverines ended this season with nine straight losses by an average of 17.6 points.

This was a near-180 from Howard's second season, when Michigan finished atop the Big Ten, earned a No. 1 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and made the Elite Eight. Howard went to the Sweet 16 the ensuing season, but the Wolverines were 26-40 the past two seasons. 

The low point of Howard's time with his alma mater came in 2022 when he put his hands on Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft, resulting in a five-game suspension at the end of the regular season as part of a reported zero-tolerance policy. At the time, there were many calls for Howard to be fired. Given his prominent status as an alum and his place in school history, he was spared. 

But more controversy followed Howard. Earlier this season, as he was making his way back from heart surgery, Howard got into a verbal altercation with former team strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson. After an internal review, Manuel opted not to fire Howard in December; Sanderson, who was a member of Michigan's staff dating back to John Beilein's tenure, was removed from the program and placed elsewhere in the athletic department before ultimately leaving Michigan.

On Thursday, Illinois announced it had hired Sanderson. 

The timing of Howard's ouster is somewhat surprising. Sources told CBS Sports that Howard's job was under review, but that a move wasn't expected prior to the weekend. He'd also been publicly backed by Manuel earlier this season. On Friday, The Athletic published a report revealing Michigan hired an independent firm to review the culture of Michigan's program under Howard's watch. 

The Michigan job is considered top-20 in the sport, and it will command attention from a number of coaches at the high-major level. Among a wide pool of candidates, some names to target could include Alabama's Nate Oats, Drake's Darian DeVries, FAU's Dusty May, South Florida's Amir Abdur-Rahim, TCU's Jamie Dixon and Princeton's Mitch Henderson.