Michigan coach Juwan Howard was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
In his second year at the helm, Howard guided the Wolverines to a 19-3 regular season record and an outright regular season Big Ten championship. Michigan will also be the No. 1 seed in this week’s Big Ten Tournament and is on track to receive a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
“You see it, he helps people,” senior forward Isaiah Livers said on March 4. “I feel like if coach Howard had a jersey of his size, he would go out there and play. If that doesn’t speak Coach of the Year, I don’t know what does. His passion for his players, his passion for (competition) — he’s a winner. He wants us to be successful. He has my vote for Coach of the Year for sure.”
Since taking the job in May of 2019, Howard has admirably filled the shoes of his predecessor, John Beilein, compiling an overall record of 38-15.
“A lot of people try to beat around the bush and not tell you how it really is, but he’s on you everyday,” graduate transfer guard Mike Smith said on March 4. “In practice, he treats it like it’s a game and there’s no cutting corners, you’re gonna do it his way and we’re gonna make sure it’s Michigan culture, that’s just how it is. He trusts us and we trust him.”
Howard becomes the fourth Michigan coach to win the award, joining Johnny Orr, Bill Frieder and Beilein. Beilein captured the honors most-recently, during the 2013-14 season.
After opening the season unranked, the Howard-led Wolverines stormed through its conference slate, dominating the Big Ten and securing six wins over ranked opponents.