John Beilein reaches deal to become Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, thanks Michigan after 12-year run
Beilein leaves Michigan after 12 years as he makes the jump to the NBA
The Cleveland Cavaliers kicked off the week with a stunning coaching hire. On Monday, Michigan coach John Beilein made the jump to the NBA by agreeing to a five-year deal to take over as Cleveland's head coach.
Beilein has been the coach at the University of Michigan since 2007 and has seen success with the Wolverines program, making the Final Four twice and winning the Big Ten twice. He previously led Division-I programs at West Virginia, Richmond and Canisius.
Though it didn't reveal his destination, Michigan did confirm that Beilein will be leaving the University with the following statement and tweet:
"Many, many of you have been reaching out. Currently, I can confirm that U-M coach John Beilein will be leaving the University of Michigan. Feel free to use my name as your source -- Tom Wywrot, Associate Director of U-M Athletic Communications
We are working on putting together statements and other items and will distribute those when we can. There are no plans for a press conference today, or in the near future."
Monday's news came as a bit of shock considering Beilein has no prior NBA coaching experience and wasn't widely rumored to be in the running for the Cavs' job. However, talks between Beilein and Cleveland reportedly escalated over the weekend and he informed Michigan of his intent to accept the Cavs job on Monday.
Beilein will ink a five-year deal with the Cavaliers, though the financials haven't yet been released. Beilein had a $3.37 million annual salary at Michigan.
The Cavaliers had recently been discussing their coaching vacancy with a number of assistants around the NBA, including Nuggets assistants Jordi Fernandez and Wes Unseld Jr., the Magic's Steve Hetzel and the Trail Blazers' David Vanterpool.
The 66-year-old Beilein, who departs the college ranks with an all-time record of 754-425 and a 26-13 record in the NCAA Tournament, seemed to confirm the news, as thanked his supporters in a Tweet after the news broke.
"Thanks to everyone at the [University] of Michigan for their incredible support these last 12 years," Beilein wrote. "Our fans, alums, leaders, players and students are AMAZING It has been a heck of a ride and I hope you enjoyed our teams and staff as much as I did! Go Blue Forever."
In Cleveland, Beilein will be tasked with building the Cavaliers back into a contender in the Eastern Conference.
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