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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Juwan Howard not trying to duplicate John Beilein at Michigan

Juwan Howard

Juwan Howard will have some big shoes to fill next season, but he plans to fill them his way and his way alone.

In an interview with Brendan Quinn of The Athletic that ran Sunday, the new Michigan head coach acknowledged that comparisons to predecessor John Beilein will be inevitable but emphasized that he is trying to be his own man.

“When the comparisons start, I promise you I will not be sensitive about it because I know this: I have to do it my way, how I foresee how it should be done, and trust the process,” said Howard. “I’m not going to try to be or try to duplicate John or Steve Fisher or Brian Ellerbe or Tommy Amaker. I’m going to be Juwan Howard, and I’m going to try to be the best I can be.

“I’ve always gone about doing my job and not looking to be praised,” the 46-year-old went on. “During my playing days, there were some highs, and there were some lows. Fans and media have expectations, and I’ve been dumped on, and I’ve never made excuses for it. I’ve just rolled up my sleeves and tried to stay focused, and do my job to the best of my ability.”

Beilein, who left this summer to become the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had an incredible run in his 12 seasons at Michigan, racking up nine NCAA Tournament berths, five Sweet Sixteens, and two title game appearances. Howard, meanwhile, helped headline the team’s legendary Fab Five era as a player but has no prior head coaching experience at any level.

Nevertheless, Howard already made one flashy hire to his coaching staff, and it sounds like he is ready to sink or swim on his own merits.

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