Michigan coach Juwan Howard says he will not be exploring any NBA coaching opportunities.
Howard was mentioned as a “possible NBA coaching candidate whose name is gaining traction within front offices” earlier Monday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. About 90 minutes later, Howard released a statement that will put Michigan fans’ minds at ease.
“There was a report of my name as a potential candidate for NBA coaching opportunities. While I am flattered, and know it will more likely happen again, I am not exploring, seeking or listening. I am the head coach at the University of Michigan,” Howard said. “I am blessed to be working at the greatest university in the world. I am blessed to be guiding a group of wonderful young men. We have goals, dreams and championships to win. This is where my focus is. Go Blue!”
Howard played at Michigan from 1991-94 and was a member of the famous “Fab Five” recruiting class that took the college basketball world by storm. From there, he spent 19 seasons playing in the NBA that ended with consecutive titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. From there, Howard served as an NBA assistant and was in the mix for several head-coaching jobs in the league before accepting the job at his alma mater after John Beilein left Ann Arbor for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ESPN Sources: A possible NBA coaching candidate whose name is gaining traction within front offices: Michigan coach Juwan Howard. Howard has an obviously strong resume as a player and later an assistant under Erik Spoelstra. He interviewed for Lakers, Cavs before taking UM job.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 24, 2020
Howard, 47, had an up-and-down first season leading the Wolverines, finishing with a 19-12 (10-10 Big Ten) record before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Entering the 2020 season, UM returns three of its top five scorers, including Isaiah Livers.
He has also performed quite well on the recruiting trail. UM finished No. 18 in the Rivals team rankings in the class of 2020 even after five-star forward Isaiah Todd reneged on his Michigan commitment to play in the NBA G League. Michigan’s 2021 class currently has four commitments and is ranked No. 6 in the country.
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