Ann Arbor — John Beilein’s contract extension proposal from Michigan is getting its final touches and should be finalized anytime now.
Beilein, 65, is the all-time winningest coach at Michigan and had a much-publicized flirtation with the Pistons and their then-head-coaching vacancy. But he decided this month to stay at Michigan, where he has a 248-143 record. He led the Wolverines to the NCAA title game in March and in 2013, and also back-to-back Big Ten tournament championships the last two years.
He signed a two-year contract extension in November 2015 and is under contract through 2021. Michigan currently pays Beilein $3.37 million annually, which made him the ninth-highest paid coach in college basketball last season.
“I had a meeting on it today with our lawyer just to finalize and go over some points,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said Thursday after presenting the athletic department budget to university Regents. “If it’s done today and his lawyer gets it tomorrow and they want to sign it tomorrow, I’ll sign it.
“This process started for me in April after the season. For me, I look forward to putting everything on the dotted line and dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s and putting our signatures to a contract. I’m not concerned. I’m very happy.”
Manuel said he would discuss financial terms of Beilein's extension when the contract is finalized.
He laughed heartily when asked if he was relieved Beilein decided to stay.
“Oh, very relieved,” he said. “That’s old news now.”
Manuel had made it clear since late in the NCAA Tournament run that he wanted Beilein to finish his career at Michigan. They had been working on a contract when the Pistons came calling. Beilein met with Manuel to tell him of the NBA team’s interest.
“I don’t know if it was any reaction, surprise or not,” Manuel said. “John is a great coach. There are pro teams that need great coaches and it’s probably in their best interest to look at the college game and to look at our college coaches. I am very pleased with the outcome, and I am extremely happy he is staying and will be our coach.”
He said the two had an open dialogue the entire time.
“John and I were communicating as much as he needed and as much as I needed,” Manuel said. “We were also talking about different things related to the program here and the daily stuff or weekly stuff or every month stuff that I talk to my coaches about anyway.”
Manuel said Beilein’s decision to stay did not hinge on his assistant coaches and their pay.
“That was done in April,” Manuel said, saying he had already considered everything Beilein needed going forward. “Listen, this wasn’t a, ‘I’m going to the Pistons if you don’t do this.’ All that was laid out right after the season and given as part of their success and what they had driven and not anything related to the fact that I was trying to stave off any offer.
“I was trying to provide for John and his staff and what they needed and, in my view, they had earned with the success we had produced.”