BY GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Editor
Published January 11, 2010
Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein was signed a three-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season, University Athletic Director Bill Martin announced yesterday. Beilein had three years remaining on a six-year deal he signed in April 2007.
According to the new contract, Beilein — who is in his third season as the men’s basketball coach — will earn $1.7 million in 2010-11, $1.8 million in 2012-13 and $1.9 million in 2013-14.
The extension is a firm indicator that Beilein, who will turn 58 next month, intends to make Michigan his last coaching job.
"I’m so pleased that Michigan has given me this opportunity to coach and extend my contract,” Beilein said in a teleconference Monday. “At the age of 57, hopefully I’ve found the place. I've been a coaching nomad for quite a few years. Michigan is the place that I want to coach and bring back to the top of the Big Ten. It’s the only place I want to coach at, so I’m really pleased at this opportunity.”
Michigan is Beilein’s seventh stop in a career that covers 32 seasons as a college head coach. His overall record is 590-361, including a 39-43 record in two-plus seasons at the helm in Ann Arbor.
Beilein said talks of an extension between he and Martin began at the end of last season, when the Wolverines finished 21-14 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was Michigan’s first tournament appearance in 11 years and was the high point of a season that tied the mark for the biggest turnaround in program history. Last year’s Wolverine team won 11 more games that the 2007-08 team.
“We all know the direction we wanted to go into (after last season),” Beilein said.
The extension is one of the final major decisions made by Martin, who is scheduled to step down from his position as Athletic Director on Sept. 4, the same day the Michigan football team opens its season inside the newly-renovated stadium. Martin will be replaced by David Brandon, who is currently the chairman and CEO of Domino’s Pizza company.
“John Beilein has been a wonderful addition to our staff here at Michigan," Martin said in a statement. "What he has done on and off the court with our men's basketball team has been tremendous, and he has made it clear he wants to coach at Michigan until he retires. This contract extension is a win-win situation for the men's basketball program at Michigan and for coach Beilein.”
By most accounts, Beilein appears to have already established a significant presence within the University’s athletic department. Martin had Beilein on his short list of candidates when the head coaching position was left open after the 2006-07 season with the firing of Tommy Amaker. Beilein was hired just 17 days later.
Beilein took the Michigan job without having ever stepped foot in Ann Arbor, telling ESPN.com at the time that he was “taking a leap of faith.”
More than two years later, Beilein’s instincts have guided him to the good graces of the University’s highest authorities. After Martin announced his plans to retire in this past November, University President Mary Sue Coleman named Beilein one of five officials selected to sit on the advisory committee to choose Martin’s successor.
Beilein was the only Michigan coach asked to serve on the committee.
Though Michigan is the fourth Division 1 program Beilein has led to the tournament, the Wolverines have stumbled to a disappointing 8-7 (2-2 Big Ten) record this year, and are in danger of missing this March’s NCAA Tournament.
— Daily Sports Editor Nicole Auerbach contributed to this report