Beilein’s new deal reassures potential UM recruits

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan basketball coach John Beilein approached interim athletic director Jim Hackett recently about a contract extension.

It wasn’t that Beilein was feeling insecure.

It was all about the recruits, who wanted assurances he would be around should they decide to commit to Michigan.

“It kept coming up as we would recruit the ’17s and ’18s,” Beilein said Thursday, a day after it was announced he had re-upped through the 2020-21 season. “I said I need to mention it to Jim and see if they’re interested in doing it, I would be interested in doing it. If not, I would understand.

“They were very interested in getting this kind of commitment.

“It’s a common question for ’17s and ’18s that we’re currently recruiting: ‘Who’s gonna be coaching?’ And so you’re trying to give a really good answer, but if you don’t have a contract, that’s a little more difficult.”

Beilein, 62, now is signed for six more seasons, at a total compensation package near $3.5 million annually, putting him in the top 10 nationally.

This marks Beilein’s ninth season at Michigan, tying with Le Moyne for the longest stop during his coaching career that’s also included stops at Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia.

“I do love the idea that we found a spot, after being a bit nomadic, that the family loves, I love, my coaching staff loves, the facilities, the staffing, everything is terrific,” said Beilein, who’s taken Michigan to five NCAA Tournaments, including a title-game appearance and another Elite Eight. “Let’s just make this the best we can be and just see where it takes us. It’s a great commitment, I think every way, to the excellence we want to have in Michigan basketball.”

Family affair

Michigan’s season kicks off Friday night at Crisler Center with an exhibition against Le Moyne.

That’s Division II Le Moyne, where Beilein got his start — and where Beilein’s son, Patrick, now is the head coach.

That’ll make for a larger-than-normal crowd for a season opener, with a heavy representation of Beileins in attendance.

“Patrick is one of 44 grandchildren from my parents,” Beilein said. “So there’s probably gonna be about 12, 15 of his cousins here. And I think they’ll all be rooting for him.”

And Beilein’s wife?

“Kathleen is going to be interesting,” he said. “I can’t read it right at this point.”

Slam dunks

Spike Albrecht (hip surgery) will play some in the opener, but Zak Irvin (back surgery) isn’t ready to play yet. As for the starting lineup, Beilein told the media it’ll have to wait.

... Beilein said a few other players are dealing with “tweaks,” including Aubrey Dawkins, who landed awkwardly during an open scrimmage earlier this week.

... Beilein said juniors Andrew Dakich and Sean Lonergan are considering redshirts so they can get a fifth year, “either here or possibly somewhere else.”

Le Moyne at Michigan

Tip-off: 7 p.m. Friday, Crisler Center, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: BTN-Plus/950

Outlook: Division II Le Moyne played its first game Monday, losing to Syracuse, 97-58. ... Michigan freshman Moritz Wagner, from Germany, will get an extended look in the exhibition ... UM’s second game of the season, against Division II Northern Michigan on Nov. 13, is not an exhibition game.