Skip to main content

John Beilein Explains His Decision To Step Down As Cavs Coach

Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein pointing and yelling during a game.

ANN ARBOR, MI - DECEMBER 1: Michigan Wolverines Head Basketball Coach John Beilein reacts to a call during the second half of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Crisler Center on December 1, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan defeated Purdue 76-57. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

John Beilein is one of the most successful college basketball coaches in recent memory. The former West Virginia and Michigan head coach did not translate to the NBA, and is out during his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

At 67, the lifetime college coach took a shot at the rebuilding, post-LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers. Per reports, the relationship with players on the team was rocky from the get-go. He wound up lasting just 54 games. His brief tenure wasn't without controversy, either.

In January, Beilein publicly apologized after reportedly calling his players "thugs" in a meeting. He said that he meant to call them "slugs," for their slow play, an excuse that few bought. That seems to have been the beginning of the end for his tenure. The team's 14-40 record certainly didn't help.

Reports emerged during All-Star Weekend that John Beilein was expected to be out as Cavaliers head coach. Today, that became a reality. He announced his resignation, citing concerns for his personal health, and his family. Via ESPN's

Here is Beilein’s statement.

— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) February 19, 2020

">Eric Woodyard:

"I find losing very challenging and this year has taken a much bigger toll on me than I expected. I grew concerned for the consequences this toll could potentially take on my own health and my family's well-being down the road. I was not certain I could be at my best for the remainder of the season and in the future. That would not be fair to the players, coaches and support staff.

Beilein cited his confidence in interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff as playing a part in his decision. Per reports, Beilein will take on another role in the organization. His full statement:

There are already rumors that Beilein could return to the college ranks, with a number of people connecting him to the potential opening at Texas. The Longhorns have failed to live up to expectations since their splashy hire of Shaka Smart.

If he decides to coach again, he'll have no shortage of suitors.