Jan 25, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA;Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein talks to player on the bench during the 1st half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan basketball: John Beilein has a legitimate shot at Coach of the Year Award

Michigan coach John Beilein was announced Friday (Feb. 28) as one of ten finalists for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year award by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Ironically, Beilein is joined on the list by a coach very familiar to Wolverine fans. The original “Michigan Man,” Steve Fisher coached the Wolverines to the 1989 national championship after then athletic director Bo Schembechler hired Fisher to coach the Wolverines in the NCAA tournament.

Schembechler was put in the predicament when coach Bill Frieder took the job at Arizona State. “A Michigan Man will coach Michigan,” Bo said, and an instant icon was formed.

Seventh Season

Fisher was also the Michigan coach during the “Fab Five” and NCAA probation years that led Michigan to hire a coach of Beilein’s impeccable stature.

This is Beilein’s seventh season at Michigan and there has yet to be even a  mention of impropriety.

And, as if its a bonus, Beilein has his team atop the Big Ten Standings (20-7, 12-3), and the Wolverines are looking for their second conference title in the last three years.

The 2011-12 squad shared the regular season crown (13-5) with arch-rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. It was Michigan’s first league title in 26 years.

We’re no. 1

Last season, Michigan surprised the basketball world by earning the No. 1 ranking on Jan. 28 then sailing through the NCAA tournament field before losing to Louisville in the national championship game.

The job Beilein’s done with this season’s team might be even better. Not only did Michigan lose Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. to the NBA, but also potential All-American Mitch McGary to back surgery eight games into the season.

Beilein, who’s also had successful stops at Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia, weathered the storm quite well, building a 12-3 conference mark going into Saturday’s (Mar. 1) game against Minnesota.

In 26 seasons of Division I basketball, Beilein has made the postseason 14 times. It’s a lock to make it number 15.

Award Nominees:

John Beilein, Michigan

Steve Fisher, San Diego State

Ton Bennett, Virginia

Larry Brown, SMU

Jim Crews, Saint Louis

Mick Cronin, Cincinnati

Billy Donovan, Florida

Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

Doug McDermott, Creighton

Jay Wright, Villanova♦

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer








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