Despite not being one of the household names that comes to mind when talking about great college basketball head coaches, no conversation about some of the best Xs and Os men can truly be a fair one without mentioning the name of John Beilein.
One of only five coaches in NCAA history to take at least four different schools to the NCAA Tournament, Beilein has amassed over 700 career head coaching wins at the collegiate level, and he’s just 14 wins shy from reaching 500 career wins at the Division I level. For all of his great work in the regular season, postseason is where Beilein separates himself from most of his peers: in the 10 NCAA Tournament appearances Beilein has made in Division I, his teams have won at least one game in nine of those 10 seasons, with his 1996 Canisius team being his only NCAA Tournament team that was bounced in its first game. (However, his 1995 Golden Griffins team made a Cinderella run to the NIT Final Four.) His high point at Michigan came in 2013, where he led the Wolverines to the national championship game before losing to Louisville.
Today marks our first edition of “Coachspeak,” where we talk one-on-one with some of the biggest names and up-and-coming stars on the sidelines in college basketball. Enjoy our first installment with head coach John Beilein, and in each subsequent week, we’ll invite a new interview subject for a conversation about the ins and outs of coaching in the college game and beyond.