The Michigan basketball program is in search of a new head coach following the departure of longtime coach John Beilein, who abruptly left for the NBA to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, one current NBA coach has emerged as a potential candidate.
According to a report from MLive.com, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan is being considered for the job.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, in his only public comments since Beilein’s departure, expressed his preference for “someone who has a track record as a head coach.” Donovan’s track record, at the college level at least, is very impressive.
Whether the Long Island, New York native, who turns 54 on May 30, would be interested in Michigan is a different matter.
According to The Oklahoman, the Thunder owes Donovan $6 million next year after picking up his 2019-20 option back in December. It is the final year of what has been reported by several outlets as a five-year, $30 million contract signed when he left Florida.
The 66-year-old Beilein had been the head coach of the Wolverines since 2007, leading Michigan to NCAA tournament Final Four appearances in 2013 and 2018, a 2007 NIT Championship, and two Big Ten championships. In Cleveland, Beilein will be replacing former coach Tyronn Lue and interim coach Larry Drew.
Beilein holds head coaching record of 754-425 after stops at Le Moyne, Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia, and Michigan.