Since being hired as the head coach at Michigan in 2007, John Beilein’s teams have won 21 games or more in four of his six seasons at the helm. In addition to the team success there’s been plenty of work done with individual players as well, a credit not only to Beilein but his staff as well.
Thursday it was reported by Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com that assistants Bacari Alexander, Lavall Jordan and Jeff Meyer have been given contract extensions and raises. According to the story the contracts will run through the 2017-18 season.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was highly complimentary of the assistants, making note of the part they played in the transformation the program made following a disappointing 2009-10 season (15-17 record).
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Brandon said of the new contracts for Alexander, Jordan and Meyer. “I think the world of John, but one of the things that he did as a leader, coming off of that 2010 season, is he took a hard look at his staff and made significant changes and brought in Bacari and LaVall and really created a staff that works together so well. They trust one another. They understand one another. They feed off one another and compliment one another in a way that’s truly special.”
For the second consecutive season Michigan will have to account for the loss of the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, with Nik Stauskas being a lottery selection in the NBA Draft, and they also lost key contributors in Jordan Morgan and Glenn Robinson III (Mitch McGary, too).
But the Wolverines have some talented players returning to Ann Arbor, led by guards Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr., and their incoming recruiting class has been praised as well.
Friday evening it was announced by the Arizona basketball program that assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson would be taking some time away from the program for health reasons. Richardson has been an assistant under Arizona head coach Sean Miller since Miller accepted the job in 2009.
“I have made the decision to take time away from the University of Arizona for health reasons,” Richardson said in the release. “This is not a life or death situation, but nonetheless very important. I am very appreciative to be given the flexibility to temporarily step away from coaching and basketball, and to concentrate on my well-being.
“I want to thank Coach Miller, the Arizona basketball family and the athletic department for allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to returning to the Arizona basketball program.”
Prior to making the move to Tucson Richardson was a member of Miller’s coaching staff at Xavier from 2007-09, and his presence on the staff has had a significant impact on the recruiting trail. Arizona’s put together Top 10 recruiting classes in each of the last three years, with the 2012 and 2013 classes being ranked in the top five.
“We support Coach Richardson’s decision to take some time off from his coaching duties,” said Miller. “What’s most important at this time is that he takes care of himself. We will miss his contribution to our program, but giving him time away is the best thing we can do to help. We look forward to his return.”
Also on Coach Miller’s staff as assistants are Joe Pasternack and Damon Stoudamire, who returned to his alma mater in May after spending two years on Josh Pastner’s staff at Memphis.
While the experienced Perry Clark was added to the South Carolina coaching staff in the aftermath of Brad Underwood’s departure (he accepted the head coaching job at Stephen F. Austin), head coach Frank Martin had yet to name a replacement as his associate head coach. Wednesday the school announced that assistant Matt Figger has been promoted to associate head coach, and he’ll remain the program’s recruiting coordinator as well.
“Upon losing Brad Underwood the decision to promote Matt Figger to associate head coach was an easy one,” Martin said in the release announcing the move. “Matt has been with me from day one at Kansas State, and he is as ready as anyone can be to take on head coaching duties. I’m excited for what he brings to our program every single day, and he’ll remain responsible for the same things that he has done up to this point.
“I just want everyone to understand and know – players, and everyone who is around us – that Matt is ready to take on the challenge of being a head coach.”
Figger has more than two decades of college coaching experience, having held positions at both the Division I and junior college levels. He’s been with Martin since 2007, when Martin was named Bob Huggins’ successor at Kansas State. In 2013-14 South Carolina welcomes eight newcomers, including highly regarded guard Sindarius Thornwell and Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson. They’ll join a roster led by guards Brenton Williams and Bruce Ellington, and forward Michael Carrera.