LOS ANGELES — John Beilein is set to become head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He signed a five-year deal to bolt for the NBA, ESPN reported.
In 12 years at Michigan, Beilein guided the Wolverines to two Final Four appearances and four Big Ten titles.
“Thanks to everyone at the Univ of Michigan for their incredible support these last 12 years,” Beilein said via Twitter. “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! #GoBlue.”
The 66-year-old coach informed players and staff at Michigan he was moving on in a meeting Monday morning, prompting a message of thanks from the Wolverines’ athletic department.
“Thank you, @JohnBeilein, for everything you did for Michigan: 278 Wins, 9 NCAA Tournament Appearances, 2 Final Four Appearances, 2 #B1G Regular Season Championships, 2 #B1G Tournament Titles, 18 All-Big Ten Selections, 9 @NBA Draft Picks.”
The Cavaliers are back in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday seeking another cornerstone for the franchise after narrowly missing the worst record in the league in their first season without LeBron James since his return from Miami. The Cavaliers, Suns and Knicks all have a 14 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
Beilein is an offensive-minded coach — Michigan played primarily a zone defense — using an approach similar to that of the Golden State Warriors “face and space” with four perimeter players set up outside the 3-point line and one working in the paint.
Beilein has a 829-468 combined coaching record and was interviewed twice last offseason for head-coaching jobs, but he broke off talks with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons to stay at Michigan.
Cavaliers assistant general manager Mike Gansey played for Beilein at West Virginia, and general manager Koby Altman was said to be seeking a coach who could create a different culture in Cleveland. — Reuters