Michigan's John Beilein on contract extension: ‘Stay tuned’
Rosemont, Ill. — Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel doesn’t want basketball coach John Beilein to go anywhere.
He said that last month, just a couple weeks after Beilein led the Wolverines to the national championship game for the second time in five seasons and on the heels of back-to-back Big Ten tournament championships.
On Monday at the Big Ten’s spring meetings at conference headquarters just outside of Chicago, Beilein said the talks have begun on a contract extension but there is nothing official yet.
“Yeah, as a matter of fact we are,” Beilein said when asked if he and Manuel are discussing an extension. “Warde and I have been busy and so apart, but we’re talking about that right now. So, stay tuned.”
Beilein, 65, signed a two-year contract extension in November, 2015, and is under contract through 2021. Michigan pays him $3.37 million annually, which made him the ninth-highest paid coach in college basketball this past season.
After winning the Big Ten tournament for the second straight season, the Wolverines reached the national championship game before losing to Villanova.
Last month, Manuel was asked about the future of his basketball coach.
“I don’t want John Beilein to coach anywhere else, and he knows that,” Manuel said. “He understands my feeling toward that. You can take that for what it’s worth. I’m not prepared to make a statement today, but I don’t want him to go anywhere else.”
It appears Beilein, who just finished his 11th season as Michigan’s head coach, is on the same page.
And he’s already got his mind on next season when he’ll be welcoming a five-player freshman class rated among the best in the nation. Whether or not that group is joined by Charles Matthews is to be determined as the redshirt sophomore goes through the NBA evaluation process.
Whether he’s back or not, the Wolverines will have an open scholarship next season thanks to the early departure of Moritz Wagner and Beilein said they are open to taking a transfer but could also hold the scholarship for the next year.
“We’ve been looking at a graduate transfer,” Beilein said. “The (regular) transfer thing is real but that can take away one from ’19, and you know, Charles could come back.
“So, welcome to our world. Every (coach) up there is juggling the same basketballs right now.”
Whether Matthews is back or not, Beilein and his staff will have plenty of time to work with the new roster. They’ll get four hours per week this summer with their players, Beilein said, and the Wolverines will be taking a European trip in August.
It’s something that is allowed every four years, and Michigan traveled to Italy in 2014. The destination this year is still being determined but Beilein said it comes at the perfect time considering the Wolverines will be welcoming five freshmen.
His veterans will also benefit as they’re on campus now working out and will then take part in the trip.
“It’s going to be good and I can’t wait to get some of those guys and get them into it,” Beilein said. “A couple of those freshmen are gonna need to be ready to play. We’ve got Jon Teske and Austin (Davis) on campus right now working out and Jordan Poole and Isaiah Livers. Those are the four that do a double summer.”