Michigan Men's Basketball Coach John Beilein sat down with the media yesterday, along with LaVall Jordan, the newest member of his staff. After the jump, check out what Beilein thinks of conference expansion.
Beilein on Jordan
Beilein insists there was no tampering in the hiring of LaVall Jordan. From this point forward, any conversation with Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins will take place coach-to-coach. The two haven't yet spoken, and apparently there was some misunderstanding. Beilein has tried to get ahold of Hawkins, but hasn't been able to yet.
Coach went through the process recently, and interviewed both Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan. Alexander ended up landing the previous opening because Beilein thought it was important to get a coach for the bigmen. When another position opened up, Jordan was the obvious choice. No other candidates were interviewed.
Both new coaches have Michigan ties, which was an important part of the selection criteria.
The coaching staff is entirely new since last summer. It's been good to have the new hires spaced out, so each guy got caught up to speed before the new guy was hired. It would have been tough to replace all three at once.
Refusing to say whether his staff needed an overall after the last couple years, Beilein said "I really like this staff now. This is a good staff."
The rest of Beilein's staff (non-coaching positions) will hopefully be filled promptly. He hopes to get started on it this weekend.
Jordan on Michigan
When LaVall was growing up in Michigan, the Wolverines were a big deal. "With Glen Rice and Rumeal, and then moving forward, you know."
Jordan coached one year with fellow assistant Jeff Meyer before, and had a lot of connections to all of Michigan's coaches, so it was a natural fit. "The people had a big part to do with my excitement."
Jordan was not called by Beilein about the (second) staff opening. When he heard about the opportunity, he had a discussion with Coach Hawkins, and made a decision. "The one thing none of us can control is timing." Jordan was surprised there was an issue raised by Coach Hawkins.
"I'm fired up. I know these guys; I know they're good guys. I believe in this program, in this University, and I'm excited. I know the guys on the roster, and the young talent, and what Michigan is capable of."
When LaVall was an assistant at Iowa, he had the responsibility of scouting Michigan for the Hawkeyes. "Don't hold it against me. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Jordan recruited Michigan at both Butler and Iowa. He gained the commitment of Devyn Marble at Iowa. He also had opportunities to make connections in Indiana and throughout the midwest. Michigan will allow the opportunity to broaden, and recruit nationally.
The official release and John Beilein's thoughts on conference expansion can be found after the jump!
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Wednesday, June 9) the hiring of LaVall Jordan as an assistant coach for the Wolverine program.
“LaVall is a terrific addition to our staff,” said Beilein. “He grew up in the state of Michigan and was a huge fan of the Maize and Blue. LaVall knows and appreciates the valued traditions of this great university and the Wolverine program.
“LaVall is a proven recruiter, excellent mentor and gifted teacher of the game. Bringing to Michigan his knowledge as a player and coach and his experience from a successful Butler program (multiple NCAA Tournament appearances including the Sweet 16 in 2007), LaVall will be a tremendous asset for us as we continue to develop our program’s culture.
“LaVall’s passion for skill development and deep understanding of guard play will undoubtedly benefit our backcourt players. I am especially pleased with his working and recruiting experience in the Big Ten and believe he will be a key component as we strengthen our program and recruiting efforts.”
“I know what the University of Michigan means to this state and around the country. To be part of that is truly a great opportunity,” said Jordan. “Returning to my home state, being closer to my family and working for Michigan is a tremendous honor.
“Having recruiting ties in the state of Michigan, the Midwest and across the country, I am looking forward to helping this staff bring in the right type of young man that will help this program become one of the best in the Big Ten and the nation.”
“I love the make-up of this staff,” added Beilein. “They will help this young team develop their games both collectively and on an individual basis. I am very confident that our terrific Michigan fans will embrace watching this young team make great progress in the years ahead.”
Jordan spent the last three years at Iowa as an assistant coach under former Hawkeye head coach Todd Lickliter. Prior to his arrival at Iowa, Jordan spent four years coaching at his alma mater Butler (2003-07) as an assistant coach for three seasons (2004-07) and as the coordinator of basketball operations for one season (2003-04).
Jordan assisted the Bulldogs to a 29-7 record in 2006-07, sharing the Horizon League regular season title in 2007 and advancing to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before a loss to eventual national champion Florida.
Before embarking on his coaching career, Jordan was a starting guard at Butler (1998-2001), helping the Bulldogs win three conference tournament titles and two Horizon League regular season championships. He participated in four consecutive postseason tournaments -- NCAA (1998, 2000, '01) and NIT (1999) – and helped record Butler’s first tournament win in 39 years with a 79-63 win over Wake Forest in 2001.
Jordan was a two-time All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference performer and was the league's tournament MVP in 2001. He tallied 91 victories in four years, which at the time made him the winningest player in Butler history.
A native of Albion, Mich., Jordan earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Butler in 2001, and went on to play professional basketball in Europe. He was the first Butler player to participate in the National Basketball Developmental League, playing for the Huntsville Flight.
Beilein on Conference Expansion
"I've lived this before, and been on the edge where the Big East was going to it's demise, and all of a sudden rebounded greatly with a new structure."
It appears as though there will be some major movement. We've already seen some.
Only the ADs and presidents know what's really going on - and that's how it should be. Even coaches don't know what's rumor and what's real. "The coaches that have so much involved in this really don't know who are some of the teams they'll be coaching against."
Beilein isn't sure if he's even ever set foot in the state of Nebraska (reportedly the newest member of the Big Ten).