Niagara coach Patrick Beilein stepping down, former Duke player Greg Paulus to act as interim

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Niagara coach Patrick Beilein is resigning from his position at the school, less than two weeks before the college basketball season begins. The specific reasons for Beilein's abrupt resignation are not clear at this time. 

Shortly after reports began to surface about Beilein stepping down, he released a statement.

"It is with heavy regret that I must inform the entire Purple Eagle nation that effective today I have resigned my position as the head men's basketball coach at Niagara University," Beilein said. "It has been a lifelong dream of mine to become a Division-I head basketball coach, but unfortunately, that dream must be put on hold. Personal reasons I can no longer take lightly have led me to step away from my dream job. Going forward, I must give singular focus to dealing with these issues, so that I can become the man I strive to be.

"In time, it is my hope that I can be more open about my ongoing circumstances, but in the meantime, I thank you all for respecting my family's need for privacy and for all your continued support."

Beilein will replaced in an interim capacity by assistant Greg Paulus, who previously spent four seasons as an assistant at Ohio State and, prior to that, was an assistant at Navy. Paulus is most known for his time as a player at Duke from 2005-09. 

The 36-year-old Beilein was hired in March to take over one of the toughest jobs in low-major men's college basketball. Viewed in recent years as a rising star in coaching, he turned down multiple other Division I offers while coaching the previous four seasons at Division II Le Moyne, located in Syracuse, New York.  

Beilein is the son of John Beilein, who earlier this year took the Cleveland Cavaliers job after spending 12 seasons coaching the Michigan Wolverines, taking that program to two Final Fours. The elder Beilein released a statement on Twitter

"Kathleen and I love our son, Patrick. We will assist him in every way so he can focus 100% on his personal issues," Beilein wrote. "We believe that with a lot of hard work, he can do it. Thanks for respecting the privacy that Patrick and his family need at this time."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. This is his 10th season reporting on college basketball for CBS. He also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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