By Ashley Dunkak
ANN ARBOR (CBS DETROIT) – John Beilein tries not to dwell on his Michigan basketball team’s loss in the 2013 NCAA tournament championship game. Even if he wanted to, though, the head coach probably would not have the time to do it.
Between finalizing a contract extension, coaching USA basketball in Russia, recruiting all over the country and starting to work with Michigan players again, it has been a busy off-season for Beilein.
Now set to be the coach through the 2018-2019 season, Beilein will earn $2.45 million per year, according to the Associated Press. Beilein said it was important to get the deal done largely because of recruiting.
“With young men committing earlier and just looking at the long range, they want to see who’s going to be coaching there,” Beilein said. “You’ll see that we’re not the only ones doing that … There’s a commitment by the university, but there’s a commitment by myself. This is what I want to do because I found a place that I think is just a tremendous place to coach.”
Beilein said he had to think about the possibility of retirement down the road during contract discussions, but his conclusion was that he wants to be at Michigan for at least the next five years and possibly longer.
“The day that I don’t want to get up and go to the office, that’s the day I will not coach anymore,” Beilein said. “I made all these trips and all these miles and all these red-eyes, I couldn’t wait to get to work yesterday. And I was up early this morning, couldn’t wait to get to work today. And I can’t wait to go recruiting tomorrow, so that’s good stuff.”
Beilein was an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team that played in a tournament in Kazan, Russia, from July 7-16. Beilein roomed with fellow USA assistant and South Carolina coach Frank Martin, who is best known for his sideline antics and Elite Eight run with Kansas State in the 2009-2010 season. Beilein said that between scouting other country’s teams and listening to Martin and USA head coach Bob McKillop, from Davidson College, teach players, the trip was a huge learning experience.
“They would say things I never even thought about in a game, and I’m sure I was saying things to them that they were saying, ‘I never thought about that,’” Beilein said. “It was a clinic. Frank Martin was my roommate, we stayed in the same dorm room together, and that was that was rewarding as well. We went to sleep talking about basketball, we woke up talking about basketball.”
Beilein also got to coach some Big 10 players his team will face during the season, including Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and Iowa’s Aaron White.
“Anyone that we played against last year, there was a great connection, and there was some ribbing now and then, but it was good,” Beilein said. “Between Yogi being the point guard – I recruited Yogi a little bit – Will Sheehey I had recruited as well, so it was good, Aaron White. They were good.
“I did do some offensive things, I gave them the names we give them, and so I think that they probably will recognize some of those things if they retain it,” Beilein added. “I certainly remembered some things they do well and don’t do well and may keep that in my brain sometime.”
Another player on the USA team was Luke Hancock, the Final Four MVP whose excellence in the 2013 championship game helped lift Louisville over Michigan for the title.
Watching him might have been the only time Beilein thought back about that game.
“Obviously when I went to the tryouts at the Olympic training center and Luke Hancock couldn’t make a shot for three days,” he said with a wry smile, “that affected me a little bit.”