April 7th, 2013 at 7:29 PM ^


He is the annoying love child of Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buschemi, and some sort of toady gangster. 


Belein is way better.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:47 PM ^

Not really sure why you'd associate Pitino with Calipari. They've never worked together, it's pretty well known that they don't like each other:


Pitino should have kept his snausage in his pants and he has some other not so attractive characteristics. but he doesn't have anywhere near the rep of Calipari as far as being a douchebag, breaking amateurism rules and leaving his schools as the NCAA probation/forfeiture hammer is about to drop.


April 7th, 2013 at 9:35 PM ^

You're right -- I just looked that up. (Aside: Pitino first worked as a head coach in 1976 -- on an interim basis -- at Hawaii. He would have been about 24 at the time. He got hired at Boston University as the head coach just two years later.)

Oh, and it's definitely not an Italian thing. That's 50% of my ancestry, so I'd never go there.


April 7th, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

"So Pitino called Martin back at noon during Martin's scheduled paddleball game to let him know, getting his voicemail.

"[That's when] he can never be disturbed unless it's a matter of life and death, and his assistant said, 'Is it a matter of life and death?'" Pitino recalled. "I said, 'No, it's really, really important.' It's a matter of life and death, because I changed my mind. "


This exactly what I expected.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:18 PM ^

But they both take a distant second to "fucking up coaching searches".  He is a scratch handicap at that game.

PS: I liked RR and Love Beilein... just sad it took us an extra decade to rebuild the hoops program when Pitino would have done it much sooner... in all likelihood.  Still wouldn't trade Beilein for anyone else in coaching... that includes Coach K.


April 7th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

story.  he gave a reasonably decent set of quotes, but i have to say, nice trash-mouth wife.   mabye that explains why he ended up with a fling in a restaurant with a psycho. 


April 7th, 2013 at 7:38 PM ^

Go figure he made a decision that was best for his family and not just himself. I admire him for that. That can be tough to do especially in his profession.


April 7th, 2013 at 7:45 PM ^

but considering that we ended up with Beilein, it all worked out for the best. I think he's a better fit than Pitino ever would have been.

M Fanfare

April 7th, 2013 at 7:44 PM ^

I'm glad he's not our coach. I much prefer Beilein.

That being said, Bill Martin really does not know his way around telephonic communication.


April 7th, 2013 at 7:51 PM ^

Considering that he's a very successful businessman in addition to being an elite-class competitive sailor, it's really odd that his communication skills are so lacking.

I ran into him in an Ann Arbor hardware store a year or so ago and said hello to him. He seemed like a nice guy considering that I'm a complete stranger, but I didn't get the sense he's a real people person.

M Fanfare

April 7th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I've met him too, and I got the same impression. Though I remember hearing (from John U. Bacon, I believe) that while Martin was a very successful businessman (he's a multimillionaire), his company/companies are actually quite small. So I guess it stands to reason that, to an extent, he only ever interacted with a few people face-to-face on a daily basis.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

The private company he founded was very small in terms of staff size. He never had to be an extroverted, polished communicator. To take over something as large as UM athletics (not to mention it being a big part of the public's eye) had to be a jolt to his way of operation. As good as he was at funding facilities without going into the red, he never really found his footing in any other part of the job.

I too have heard he is a very good guy. Just terribly miscast, which was the school's fault.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

I've actually met Bill Martin once or twice through my work at Detroit Edison because we've worked with First Martin Corporation through the years all over Ann Arbor. He actually showed up at a couple meetings for the Fifth Avenue Underground Garage because several of the properties for which we needed to relocate equipment were First Martin properties. He seemed amiable enough in the meetings, but he sat in the corner and let other First Martin people do the talking, only saying "Hello" and "Have a good day" essentially. 

As for the story itself, it's interesting really that we came so close to being a Pitino-coached team, but then I think back on that, especially now considering where we are and how much Beilein has done with this program, and sort of give the prospect the same look Beilein seems to be giving Pitino here:


April 8th, 2013 at 4:59 AM ^

Googly eyes notwithstanding, can we get us some old-school style adidas wear (in much better colors, of course) like the one Pitino has on?  The old adidas logo is so much cooler than the new one, and that is a sweet track suit.  Again, in the wrong colors, but still.


April 7th, 2013 at 7:51 PM ^

This was a story probably a year ago. I'm glad we got Beilein, but playing squash and sailing during coaching searches for your school's two biggest sports...give me a fucking break Martin. 


April 7th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

I consider myself a big Michigan fan and this is the first I've heard of this. I think Rick is a good coach, he handled the fractured leg guy thing pretty well and after hearing his press conferences he seems like a good guy. Never the less I'm happy with Beilein.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

Many schools got hoodwinked around that time into thinking if you hired a Duke assistant, you would get the Duke mystique. Like other programs, we found out the hard way that is not even close to true.

Mike Bray is by far the most successful member of the Coach K tree and his resume is kinda meh (only one Sweet 16 in 13 years at ND).




April 7th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

Pitino wouldnt have lasted at UM either. Martin never follows thru on promises to rebuild facilities. Recruiting with old, ugly facilities vs Breslin and VCA was no picnic. Is there any surprise that our recruiting started picking up when the removations were underway? Its not the end-all excuse, but fact is, Pitino would have been shackled to an anvil had he come here -- lime Tommy was.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:22 PM ^

I don't really know of any thing negative about Pitino other than that whole cheating/abortion/extortion incident. I don't think he's ever landed in sanctions/NCAA trouble. 


April 7th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

This story has been around unofficially since it happened although I think it was only in the past few years that Pitino added the part with his wife preferring Kentucky to the public narrative. Although it was widely suggested that she was why they went back to Kentucky even though people said that he could not take the Louisville job at the time given that he had been the coach at Kentucky. Previously, the story was just that he was going to go to Michigan but called to talk to Martin and Martin was MIA playing squash or something. Maybe he would have gone to Louisville no matter what but you have to wonder how Martin could let him bail without at least upping the offer and trying to talk him into going to Michigan. I mean, I like Beilein a lot more as a person but Pitino's at his 7th Final Four...


April 8th, 2013 at 12:16 AM ^

But not the wife. It's been around for awhile.

The funny part that Pitino doesn't mention is that she thought they were going back to all their friends, but Rick was right...most of them didn't want to be associated with them anymore after the switch from Kentucky to Louisville, because they were all big U-K boosters.

But hey, they got back to the horses.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:58 PM ^

He was offered the Celtics job and a really big pile of money. Think it was like $75 million for a decade or something. At that point he'd just been to two straight national championship games with Kentucky and had little to prove as a college coach but still obviously had dreams of being successful (and rich) in the league. He wasn't.


April 8th, 2013 at 12:15 AM ^

Yeah. A horrible failure in part since they gave him full reign on personnel. He was way too loyal to Kentucky players - brought in Antoine Walker, Walter McCarty, Ron Mercer and a bunch of other UK dudes.

He also ran his #3 overall draft pick Chauncey Billups out of town. That didnt bode too well for his talent recognition skills.

Gotta give him credit for his Louisville squad this year though - they don't have an NBA player on their roster (maybe Dieng) yet they've been the favorite since they won the Big East Tourney a couple weeks ago.


April 7th, 2013 at 10:02 PM ^

Pitino said the saddest part of the Mike Rice Rutgers scandal was that Rice's family would be shamed. I couldn't help but laugh. Pitino talking about shaming one's family. Pot & Kettle maybe?


April 7th, 2013 at 10:35 PM ^

I remember hoping Pitino would come here but with the program at its lowest point in history, I thought it was a longshot. Shows what I know.

My second hopeful choice was Mike Montgomery who was doing great things at Stanford. They haven't been relavant since he left.