Juwan Howard, NBA All-Star and former member of Michigan’s Fab Five in the early 1990s, will become the next men’s college basketball coach for Michigan.
Howard, an assistant coach with the Miami Heat, replaces John Beilein, who departed Michigan after 12 seasons to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Beilein had a 278-150 record with Michigan. He guided the Wolverines to three-straight Sweet 16 appearances including the championship game last year. Michigan did not win a title under Beilein, but they were runner-ups in 2013 and 2018.
Michigan appeared in March Madness in 9 out of the last 11 seasons with a pair of Final Four berths.
Juwan Howard first made a name for himself as one of the top five high school recruits entering Michigan in 1991. The Fab Five consisted of Howard, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. Howard was a highly-touted center coming out of Chicago.
The Fab Five advanced to the March Madness championship game in consecutive years. They lost to Duke in the 1992 championship and to North Carolina in the 1993 title game. The loss to UNC will go down in history for Chris Webber’s blunder by calling a timeout when the team did not have any remaining.
Four out of the five members of the Fab Five went on to play in the NBA. Chris Webber and Jalen Rose pivoting to broadcasting and sports media after their NBA careers ended.
Howard pivoted to coaching. After 19 seasons in the NBA, Howard won a pair of titles with the Miami Heat. He did not want to leave the game after he retired in 2013, so Howard joined the Miami Heat as an assistant coach under Erik Spoelstra.
No Experience, No Problem
Juwan Howard has never actually coached a game as a head coach. He’s been on the sidelines the last six seasons with the Miami Heat. But Howard does not have any collegiate experience. The NCAA and NBA are two different beasts, and the Big Ten is its unique challenge.
Howard joins other former NBA Stars in the college ranks. Most recently, Jerry Stackhouse became the head coach of Vanderbilt.
Michigan and Michigan State are already in a fierce competition to recruit the top players from the state of Michigan let alone the Midwest and rest of the country. Howard still has a long way to go to catch Michigan State’s Tom Izzo in the coaching department.
The addition of a marquee name like Juwan Howard might tip the cold war in favor of Michigan. In the era of the “One-and-Done” blue chip recruit, the guidance of a former NBA star has its advantages over coaches who never played at the pro level.
Michigan won 30 games last season and 33 games the season before. Howard is joining a program that has been one of the premier teams in the Big Ten.
Howard never won a title as a member of the Fab Five, but perhaps he can finally win one for Michigan as a head coach.