March 30, 2001

After Tommy Amaker was announced yesterday as the next coach of the Michigan men”s basketball team, junior forward Chris Young quipped, “If he wasn”t going to be a coach, he could probably be a politician.”

Amaker certainly had all of the right answers for the media.

When asked if he minded that he would be playing second fiddle to Lloyd Carr and the football team, Amaker expounded about the example that Michigan football set for college programs everywhere.

“It”s more than just winning, it”s how they win,” the new coach said. “There is no better example for our basketball team than our football team.”

Amaker left Seton Hall under difficult circumstances. The announcement came suddenly and caught many of his former players off-guard. The Pirates held a team meeting with their former coach yesterday to say goodbye. More than a few tears were shed.

“It”s unfortunate. I think we all recognize it is part of the landscape (of college basketball),” Amaker said. “I tried to get up and get a haircut before I got on the plane this morning, and I was told by my barber, “Well Coach, the fact is that maybe people are upset and disappointed, but it beats the heck out of people throwing a party that you are leaving.”

During Amaker”s introductory speech yesterday, the team stood behind their new coach, smiling with approval. Amaker met with the team for the first time for about an hour before the press conference, taking the time to get to know one another.

Besides the throng of media and players in attendance for the press conference, a few Maize Ragers were on hand to, as one put it, “personally thank Tommy Amaker for coming here.”

Amaker comes to Michigan after spending four years as Seton Hall”s head coach. In that time, the Pirates were 68-55 with four postseason berths, including a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago.

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