Saddi Washington staying at UM; where does WMU go from here?

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Western Michigan is going to have to move on to Plan B, and for that matter, Plan C, D and E.

Saddi Washington was far and away the primary target to become the school's next head men's basketball coach since Steve Hawkins was dismissed last week, but Washington plans to stay on staff at Michigan. It's unclear if he talked with Western Michigan.

Sam Webb of the Michigan Insider was first to report the news.

Saddi Washington

Washington, 44, played at Western Michigan from 1994-98, and long has been seen as a head-coach-in-training, which is why he always was a fit for the Broncos — if he wanted it. It turns out, he does not.

Washington was a staff holdover from John Beilein to Juwan Howard, after a lengthy stint as an assistant coach at Oakland, where he built a strong reputation as a marquee recruiter.

Washington makes $330,000 under Howard; Hawkins made $385,000 in base pay his final year at Western.

The question now is where Western turns from here. No Hawkins assistants are expected to be candidates for the job. Athletic director Kathy Beauregard could turn the Division II route and look at Ferris State's Andy Bronkema, who won a national championship two years ago and had a handshake deal to become Detroit Mercy's coach before the athletic director backed out and eventually hired Mike Davis. Bronkema is used to not being a school's first choice; he was the third choice when he got the top job at Ferris State at age 28. Another possibility is Jay Smith, the former head coach at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Kalamazoo College who's now on staff at Michigan as director of player personnel and development.

Hawkins, who was in the final year of his contract, was dismissed after 17 seasons, his 291 wins second-most in program history. The program fell on hard times, amid a slew of injuries and transfers in recent seasons, and hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2014.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984