5 candidates Michigan should avoid as Juwan Howard’s replacement

Michigan needs a new head basketball coach after Juwan Howard's 8-win season in Year 5, but Warde Manuel should avoid these five candidates.

Indiana State Sycamores head coach Josh Schertz
Indiana State Sycamores head coach Josh Schertz / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Within just a few months, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has been forced to replace both his head football and basketball coach. The two Michigan alums, Jim Harbaugh and Juwan Howard, left Ann Arbor on very different terms, Harbaugh handed his alma mater a national title while Howard finished his tenure in last place with a 3-17 record in Big Ten play. 

On Friday, two days removed from Michigan’s first-round loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament, Manuel made the decision to move on from Howard. In five seasons at Michigan, the first-time head coach went 87-72 with a Big Ten regular season title in 2021 and two NCAA Tournament appearances. 

On the football field, Manuel understandably handed the program over to Sherrone Moore, Harbaugh’s top assistant, but he’ll need to look elsewhere for Howard’s replacement, and it can’t be another member of the Fab Five because the novelty has certainly worn off for Wolverines fans. 

Michigan basketball has had to hire a head coach three times this century and the fourth time around they’ll want to avoid these potential pitfalls in the coaching carousel. Some of the big names could be enticing to the athletic department, but won’t translate to enough wins in the Big Ten. 

. Will Wade. 5. 2484. . Will Wade. Will Wade. player. .

Will Wade wins games, but scandal follows him wherever he goes. Michigan has already established that they’re willing to take on the NCAA and now that it's legal to play the players, Wade isn’t quite as shady a figure, but it’s still not worth the risk for the Michigan athletic department. 

Michigan is and always will be a football school and the Wolverines just need stability from the basketball program. Wade could turn Michigan into a national force, but how he does it will always be in question. 

Bryce Drew. 4. Bryce Drew. player. . . . Bryce Drew. . 2519

Grand Canyon is the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament and Scott’s brother has already taken the Antelopes to March Madness twice in his previous four years in Phoenix. Drew is just 49 years old and a real up-and-comer in the college basketball world. His time to jump to a bigger program will be this offseason, but if Michigan wants a Drew brother, the administration should just go get Bryce’s older brother who already has a national title on his resume. 

The Wolverines need a proven winner to stabilize things quickly and reinvigorate the fanbase. 

Kevin Ollie. player. 147. . . Kevin Ollie. 3. Kevin Ollie. .

Well, when I said the Wolverines need a proven winner, I don’t mean one that won his national title a decade ago. Ollie road Shabazz Napier to a national title, but after parting ways with UConn after the 2018 season, Ollie couldn’t even get another head coaching job. 

Now, the redemption arc is beginning for Ollie who is the interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets right now. It’s unlikely that Ollie will be considered for a major conference head coaching job this offseason, but he certainly shouldn’t be considered for the Michigan job. 

. Chris Beard. 532. . 2. player. Chris Beard. . Chris Beard.

Chris Beard just signed a contract extension with Ole Miss after a 20-win season in his first year in Oxford. There is no questioning Beard’s ability to build a winning program, as he did at Texas Tech, is at Ole Miss, and was going to at Texas before… well before the reason that Michigan nor any other program in the country should hire him. 

While the charges were ultimately dropped for Beard’s domestic violence incident, Michigan cannot be shameless or desperate enough to hire him. Very few athletic departments have less shame than Ole Miss, so he’s a perfect fit in Oxford. 

Josh Schertz. . Josh Schertz. 1. . . . Josh Schertz. player. 2427

The Josh Schertz situation is very different from most of the other coaches on this list. He’s going to be one of the hottest names during this hiring cycle after turning around the Indiana State program in just three seasons. 

This year, the Sycamores climbed into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1979 with Larry Bird. He’s done a great job building a unique and analytic-focused offense built around his stretch-five playmaking center, Robbie Avila. The problem is that Avila is such a unique talent and Schertz still couldn’t finish the job and win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to claim the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Dusty May took FAU to the Final Four last season from a mid-major conference, so he deserves to be in consideration. Schertz is a nice story and I love his offense, but I need to see more than producing a bubble team that may not even make the big dance to sign off on him as the next head coach at Michigan.

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