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Strength coach Jon Sanderson stays at Michigan under Juwan Howard

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Michigan head strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson

Two days after taking over at his alma mater, Juwan Howard has made his first staffing decision as Michigan's head basketball coach.

Howard announced on his newly created Twitter account Friday that he will retain longtime strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson.

“I’m pleased to announce that @CampSanderson — an integral part of the program the last 10 years — will be staying in Ann Arbor,” Howard tweeted. “His reputation precedes him — I’m definitely looking forward to witnessing that first workout.”

Sanderson has played a key role in Michigan’s player development and the program's revival since he arrived in 2009.

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Under former coach John Beilein, Sanderson has helped transform players like Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Moritz Wagner with his offseason “Camp Sanderson” workouts. All three ex-Wolverines arrived on campus as physically underwhelming prospects and left as first-round NBA Draft picks.

“Coaches get way too much credit for any success we’ve had. Jon Sanderson is a huge part of this,” Beilein said back in 2017. “And all these NBA Draft choices we’ve had, Jon Sanderson is a huge part of that as well.

“So these guys in the summer, he’s our most important coach because the strength coach can be with them roughly six hours a week when we can only be with them two hours a week. So over 16 weeks with some guys that’s a big difference.”

Howard, who signed a five-year deal on Wednesday, still has to name his assistant coaches and decide whether he wants to keep Saddi Washington, Luke Yaklich or DeAndre Haynes on staff.

Washington has served as an assistant at Michigan for three years, while Haynes and Yaklich, who reportedly interviewed for a job at Texas last week, just finished their second season.

Since Howard has never coached at the collegiate level, he could look to add a veteran assistant with head-coaching experience, which none of the three have on their resume.


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins