Michigan Fires Juwan Howard As Coach

The University of Michigan has decided to dismiss former NBA standout and head coach Juwan Howard, the school announced in a press release.Juwan Howard, Michigan Wolverines, NCAA News

Howard once starred at Michigan as a member of the famed Fab Five, which also included Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — all of the 19991 recruiting class.

Howard becomes the second former NBA player who coached a Division I school to be dismissed in two days, joining Jerry Stackhouse at Vanderbilt. (Full post.)

Interestingly, Howard received plenty of NBA interest as a coach over the past few seasons but opted to remain with the Wolverines. He led them to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament in 2021.

“The buyout for Howard is $3 million, which is quite small for a coach who’d had the recent success that he achieved,” wrote Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Without a doubt, the possibility remains that Howard will return to the NBA, and if so, likely in an assistant role. He could again draw interest for head-coaching vacancies down the road, if not immediately.

This season, Michigan (8-24, 3-17 Big Ten) finished with the most losses in program history and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in back-to-back seasons in nearly 15 years.

“Michigan was 87-73 under Howard overall, but went just 26-40 the past two seasons,” wrote Tony Garcia of the Detroit Free Press. “Howard will be paid a $3 million buyout since the firing happened prior to June 30, per his contract.”

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced Howard’s firing in a press release.

“After a comprehensive review of the program, I have decided that Juwan will not return as our men’s basketball coach,” Manuel said in a statement released Friday. “Juwan is among the greatest Wolverines to ever be associated with our basketball program. I know how much it meant, to not only Juwan, but to all of us for him to return here to lead this program. Despite his love of his alma mater and the positive experience that our student-athletes had under his leadership, it was clear to me that the program was not living up to our expectations and not trending in the right direction.”

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