Following the hiring of Juwan Howard as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, fans were eagerly awaiting news about what would happen to John Beilein’s leftover coaching staff. Would the assistants stay or would Howard move on?
Well, fans learned on Friday what Michigan would do. The Wolverines officially announced the hiring of Phil Martelli and NBA assistant coach Howard Eisley and the renewal of Saddi Washington as an assistant coach. The group, undoubtedly, have some impressive resumes.
Howard said the following in a program release:
When I took this job, I told everyone I was looking to fill the staff with experienced basketball coaches who are egoless, hardworking and ones that will help our young men grow both on and off the court -- I feel I have done that,” said Howard. “Phil is so highly respected in the sport of basketball -- on every level -- it is an honor that he has decided to join us. He brings such a wealth of knowledge and creativity which I know will be beneficial as we move forward.
Michigan fans will certainly be familiar with Washington after seeing him coach on Beilein’s staff for the last few years, but the additions of Martelli and Eisley will turn some heads. Martelli spent 24 seasons as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s and Eisley comes to Ann Arbor after spending 10 years at the NBA level.
Whether this staff can lead the Wolverines to wins on the court remains to be seen, but it should be hard for fans to be disappointed. Howard surrounded himself with three highly capable assistants. One connected to the program’s past, one who has been a head coach before, and one from the NBA. That’s not a bad deal and will be interesting to follow in the months to come.