Report: Northwestern trying to lure Billy Donlon from Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Billy Donlon sits next to John Beilein during a game last season.

Michigan’s John Beilein has already lost one assistant coach this offseason.

And it appears another could be on the way out.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Northwestern coach Chris Collins is trying to lure assistant coach Billy Donlon away from Michigan to fill a vacancy on his staff.

Donlon, 40, is a native of Northbrook, Illinois, and went to school at Glenbrook North High, the same alma mater as Collins. Donlon is also friends with Collins and grew up around Northwestern’s program where his father, Bill, worked as an assistant from 1987-94.

Northbrook is just 12 miles from Northwestern's campus in Evanston.

Donlon joined Beilein’s staff in 2016 after he was fired following a six-year stint as head coach at Wright State. Regarded as one of the top defensive minds, Donlon was brought in to help improve Michigan’s scuffling defense.

Donlon is on a year-to-year contract and no extension or new deal has been announced.

Donlon had a 109-94 record at Wright State.

If Donlon leaves, he would add to the growing list of assistants to depart under Beilein in recent years. Last offseason, LaVall Jordan and Bacari Alexander both left to take head coaching jobs at Milwaukee and Detroit Mercy, respectively.

On Tuesday, longtime assistant coach Jeff Meyer announced he was leaving to join Jordan’s staff at Butler.

Northwestern’s coaching vacancy opened after assistant Pat Baldwin left to take the head coaching job at Milwaukee following Jordan’s move to Butler.