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Howard named Coach of the Year by Associated Press

Michigan coach Juwan Howard has been named Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, the publication announced in an official release this afternoon. He is the first Wolverine coach to take home the award since Bill Freider in 1985. The AP also announced Howard as the second individual to ever be named the AP’s Coach of the Year after previously appearing on an AP All-American team, joining Clem Haskins who won the award in 1997 as the head coach at Minnesota.

“Thank you to the University of Michigan,” Howard said in a press conference following the announcement. “Thank you to our AD Warde Manuel for believing in me, for taking a chance on a guy from the south side of Chicago. Like you said before, (I’d) never been a head coach before, and felt it in his heart that I’d be the right man to lead the program.”

After posting a 19-12 record in his first season in Ann Arbor, Howard led Michigan to a 19-3 regular season finish this year, capped off by the program’s first Big Ten regular season title since 2014. In the postseason, Howard’s squad made it all the way to the Elite Eight, where it lost to UCLA 51-49.

“I feel like if Coach Howard had a jersey of his size he would go out there and play,” senior forward Isaiah Livers said following a win over Michigan State on March 4. “If that doesn’t speak Coach of the Year, I don’t know what does.”

Howard beat out three other finalists for the award, including Baylor’s Scott Drew, Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Alabama’s Nate Oats. The voting results are not public at this time. This is the second major Coach of the Year honor Howard has received this year, having previously been named the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year.