Juwan Howard among cadre of Michigan coaches cheering baseball team in Omaha

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Omaha, Neb. — New Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard made the trip here Monday, along with softball coach Carol Hutchins, women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico and men’s soccer coach Chaka Daley, to cheer on the Wolverines’ baseball team, and they joined in with a fan-and-family sendoff for the team before the start of the College World Series.

Michigan is playing for its first baseball national championship since 1962 after making its first appearance in the College World Series in 35 years. Michigan faces Vanderbilt in the best-of-three series beginning with Game 1 tonight at TD Ameritrade Park. 

Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard, left; greets UM baseball coach Erik Bakich ahead of the College World Series championship series Monday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Before departing the team hotel, the Wolverines were feted by family and friends, including Howard.

“Very excited,” Howard said. “I’m happy for this group. They’ve had a great run, and their job is not finished, so we’re here to cheer them on.”

Hutchins and Barnes Arico said their message to the team was simple.

“Win it all,” said Hutchins, who led the softball program to a national title in 2005. “That’s why we’re all here.”

Howard has to head back to Ann Arbor for a basketball team camp Tuesday but wants to try to return if possible.  He was asked how he’s adjusting to his new role as a head basketball coach.

“It’s all moving fast,” Howard said. “We’re learning on the fly.”

The Wolverines will wear their 1962 throwback uniforms for the series opener. John Kerr and Dick Honig, members of that ’62 team, spoke to the Wolverines on Monday. Kerr’s grandson, Jimmy, is the Wolverines’ starting first baseman.


Twitter: @chengelis