Former Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli joins Juwan Howard's staff at Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Phil Martelli

Michigan coach Juwan Howard’s staff is starting to take shape.

Former longtime Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli has accepted an assistant coaching position with Michigan and announced the news Monday on Twitter.

“THE NEXT CHAPTER !!!” Martelli tweeted, tagging both the Michigan men’s basketball and Howard’s Twitter accounts. “THX to @saintjosephs @A10MBB, Big5, Philly hoops allowing me and my family to take away lifetime memories and lifelong friendships #GoBlue”

According to multiple reports, Martelli will serve as Howard’s top assistant.

Martelli, 64, spent the past 24 seasons as head coach at Saint Joseph’s, and will give Howard a veteran presence he can turn to for guidance in his first year at the helm of his alma mater.

During Martelli’s tenure at Saint Joseph’s, the Hawks made seven NCAA Tournament and six NIT appearances and won four Atlantic 10 regular-season titles. He also earned national coach of the year honors in 2003-04 when his team went 30-2, held a No. 1 ranking, was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Elite Eight behind the backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West.

Howard Eisley

Martelli finished his career at Saint Joseph’s with a 444-328 record before he was fired in March after failing to finish above .500 each of the last three seasons.

In addition to Martelli, all signs point to Howard retaining assistant Saddi Washington and adding New York Knicks assistant Howard Eisley to complete his staff.

Washington, who served under former coach John Beilein the past three seasons, was present at Howard's introductory news conference last week and wasn't included in the basketball program's farewell tweet that recognized former assistants Luke Yaklich, who took a job with Texas, and DeAndre Haynes, who announced on Twitter he wouldn't be returning.

Eisley's name has been linked to Michigan since last week and he is reportedly expected to be the final piece. Eisley, 46, has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2010, which included stints with the L.A. Clippers and Wizards, following a 12-year NBA career. Like Howard, Eisely has no college coaching experience, but he's a Detroit native and was teammates with former Fab Five member Jalen Rose at Detroit Southwestern High.

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins