March 14, 2001
After weeks of speculation, Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin announced yesterday that Brian Ellerbe would no longer coach the Michigan basketball team and that a search process to find a replacement would begin immediately.
“Sunday afternoon during a meeting in my office I asked Brian Ellerbe to step down as head coach of the University of Michigan men”s basketball team,” Martin said in a written statement. “This has been an extremely difficult decision and one I made only after careful assessment of the entire program.”
Ellerbe will receive $447,000 in compensation, which Martin said is consistent with the terms of his contract that call for a three-year payout of his base salary.
In a statement he released to the Detroit Free Press, Ellerbe thanked those who had worked with him while he was coach and maintained that he believed he had met the standards set forth when he was given the job.
“When I took this assignment, I knew our program faced several issues that were left for us to deal with,” Ellerbe wrote. “I also knew that returning the program to competitive standards commensurate with Michigan”s rich athletic tradition would not be done overnight. I am confident I fulfilled the guidelines established by President Bollinger and Tom Goss by running our program with integrity.”