I have no idea who Michigan is going to hire to replace John Beilein. It’s possible they promote Luke Yaklich. It’s possible they become the latest school to think they have a shot at luring Billy Donovan back to college. But my guess is that they’ll hire a current college head coach.
Let’s add in a few additional stipulations and see who’s left on the hot board.
Stipulation #1: Must Be a Head Coach at a Power Conference School
Eliminates: Too many to list.
It’s possible Michigan wants to take a shot at a mid-major guy who they think is an up-and-comer who they think could coach in Ann Arbor for the next 20 years (and if they do, Craig Smith would be at the top of that list), but if you have the ability to go out and hire a proven power conference commodity, I think you do that. Last time around Michigan wasn’t nearly as plum a job as it is now, and they still were able to land another power conference coach. No reason to think they won’t be able to now.
Stipulation #2: Must Be a Coach who would Consider Michigan a Step Up from His Current Job
Eliminates: Sean Miller, Mick Cronin, Bill Self, Bob Huggins, Brad Underwood, Archie Miller, Mark Turgeon, Tom Izzo, Chris Holtmann, Matt Painter, Greg Gard, Patrick Ewing, Jay Wright, Mike Krzyzewski, Chris Mack, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Tony Bennett, Mike White, John Calipari
You could argue whether some of these should or shouldn’t be on here (I struggled the most with Brad Underwood and Mike White), and some of them are only on here because they’re coaching their alma mater, but I’m 100% confident nobody on this list will end up as Michigan’s next coach.
Stipulation #3: Must Be a Coach for whom the Timing Works
Eliminates: Mark Fox, Kyle Smith, Chris Beard, Fran McCaffrey, Fred Hoiberg, Mike Anderson, Leonard Hamilton, Jim Larranaga, Mike Young, Nate Oats, Eric Musselman, Will Wade, Rick Barnes, Buzz Williams, Jerry Stackhouse
Most of these guys just took new jobs this year. Fran is on here because he’s got sons playing for him at Iowa. Hamilton and Larranaga are probably too old for Michigan. Rick Barnes just signed a giant new deal. As for Will Wade, lol.
Stipulation #4: Must Be a Coach who Has Had Decent Success In Their Current Role
Eliminates: Wayne Tinkle, Jerod Haase, Andy Enfield, Mike Boynton, Shaka Smart, Richard Pitino, Chris Collins, Pat Chambers, LaVall Jordan, Dave Leitao, Travis Steele, Jim Christian, Brad Brownell, Josh Pastner, Jeff Capel, Danny Manning, Tom Crean, Cuonzo Martin, Kermit Davis
I know there have been rumors that LaVall Jordan could be a candidate due to his Michigan connections, but Butler fans spent most of the past season arguing about how many years he should get before they fire him. There’s no way Jordan fails upwards into the Michigan job.
The Remaining Candidates
The following coaches meet all of the criteria above. Some are obviously a lot more likely that others to be Michigan targets, but to eliminate any more coaches, our criteria would have to get pretty subjective. Take those discussions to the comments section. Here are 20 coaches Michigan might be looking at:
- Bobby Hurley (Arizona State)
- Tad Boyle (Colorado)
- Dana Altman (Oregon)
- Larry Krystkowiak (Utah)
- Mike Hopkins (Washington)
- Scott Drew (Baylor)
- Steve Prohm (Iowa State)
- Bruce Weber (Kansas State)
- Lon Kruger (Oklahoma)
- Jamie Dixon (TCU)
- Steve Pikiell (Rutgers)
- Greg McDermott (Creighton)
- Steve Wojciechowski (Marquette)
- Ed Cooley (Providence)
- Kevin Willard (Seton Hall)
- Bruce Pearl (Auburn)
- Ben Howland (Mississippi State)
- Frank Martin (South Carolina)
As I said at the beginning, I have no idea who Michigan is going to hire to replace John Beilein. I don’t have any inside sources, and I’m not on Twitter tracking down the latest rumors.
All I know is that Michigan is in the position where it can poach another power conference coach, that if I had the option to do that I’d prefer it to hiring a less seasoned candidate or promoting an assistant, and that Billy Donovan doesn’t want to come back to college basketball for the same reasons that John Beilein left.
If we had made this same list back in 2006, John Beilein’s name would have been on it. There’s a pretty good chance Michigan’s next coach is one of these twenty.