5 possible destinations if John Beilein returns to college
John Beilein has officially parted ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers after a disastrous tenure in which he went 14-40. Beilein was one of the best college basketball coaches in the country prior to leaving Michigan and would have no shortage of suitors if he were to return to the college game.
Though he is 67 and questions about his longevity at a job are a realistic concern, Beilein’s successful career and recent record at Michigan would leave most programs desiring his services.
Here are five possible programs that might love to get Beilein if he decides to go back to college coaching.
Texas is in year five under Shaka Smart and has failed to see the results they expected when he was hired. Making matters worse, Rick Barnes has achieved the kind of success at Tennessee that the Longhorns were hoping for from Smart. Smart has made the NCAA Tournament just twice and has not advanced past the first round. Texas appears to be headed for its fourth straight losing season in Big 12 play, which includes an embarrassing loss to West Virginia this season. Smart still has three years left on his contract and a $10 million buyout, but if there’s one school where money isn’t an issue, it’s Texas.
Archie Miller is only in his third season at IU, but he has not impressed to the levels the fans had hoped for. He went 16-15 in his first year and 19-16 in his second year. The Hoosiers are 16-9 this season. The inclination would probably be to give Miller more of a chance to turn things around, especially since he would be owed the full amount of money on his original $24 million contract in a buyout. That buyout would probably be around the $14 million range, which might prove too costly for IU.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
It feels like forever since Wake Forest was a player on the college basketball scene, but remember they used to have strong programs with stars like Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. They only had two winning seasons the last decade, and Danny Manning has not done a good enough job. The team is currently 11-14, which matches Manning’s win total in three of his five seasons as head coach. Wake would love to get Beilein as coach. He was close to taking a job there several years ago. The benefit is the program’s expectations might be lower than others, but the downside is the money might not be there.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Josh Pastner has been as unimpressive at Georgia Tech as he was at the end of his tenure at Memphis. After going 21-16 in his first season, Pastner has had two straight losing seasons, and the Yellow Jackets are 12-13 this season. Pastner signed a contract extension two years ago that runs through 2022-2023, and he would receive the full 100 percent of the money he is owed in a buyout if he were to be let go. GT probably has some buyer’s remorse, but there might not much they could do.
Vanderbilt has fallen on rough times since letting Kevin Stallings go. The program tanked in three seasons under Bryce Drew and bottomed out at 9-23 last season, with an 0-18 SEC record. Jerry Stackhouse is 9-16 in his first season and has at least won one game in conference play. They’d love a proven coach like Beilein, but seeing them get rid of Stackhouse so quickly might be unrealistic.