John Beilein voted the cleanest coach in major CBB by his peers

Submitted by Maizen on August 24th, 2017 at 11:44 AM

And it's not even close. Beilein recieved 26.6% of the vote. Mike Brey was second with 10.5%

  • "John Beilein is a by-the-book, letter-of-the-law guy. LETTER-OF-THE-LAW. ... You get two hours to work out guys for the week. If he works out a kid and, say, they go one hour and one minute, he's going to start the next time with 59 minutes on the clock and go 59 minutes. That's the truth."
  • "Personally, we've gone up against him [in recruiting] ... and there's never been any issues. You go head-to-head with some of these guys, and you know what's going on. ... But nothing has popped up that's even been in the gray area [with Michigan]."
  •  "If you look over the course of his programs, they have a very unique way in how they recruit players. It's a very old-school approach. He has to see them. They only offer kids if they come to campus twice. Stuff like that. His background is such, and this is way vague, but guys that typically have cheated or do things the wrong way, they live their lives at a certain level of athletics for such a long period. But John Beilein worked his way up. He's never been an assistant -- only been a head coach his entire life. He's like, 'This is the only way do it, and I'm going to continue to do it.' [Guys like him] get to a point in their careers where they've been able to operate that way for so long, why risk their job and reputation?"



August 24th, 2017 at 11:49 AM ^

More from Gary Parrish:

I'm not surprised Beilein was the most common answer, if only because I've never heard another coach even whisper about him. In a business where back-stabbing is normal, and accusing somebody of cheating every time you miss on a recruit is a go-to move, Beilein's name has never been connected to anything shady, far as I can remember. Coaches just don't talk about him that way.

Simply put, he's universally respected.

Beilein has led the NCAA's ethics coalition, and his colleagues seem to believe there's nothing about that deserving of a roll of the eyes. They think he plays things straight by the book. And, I'm compelled to tell you, this is why I may have personally been as wrong about Beilein-to-Michigan back in 2007 as I've been about any hire made at the power-conference level in the past decade.

I did not love the hire at the time.

And the reason was simple: I didn't think a by-the-book coach was a good fit at Michigan -- a place that historically needs to recruit Detroit to be successful, a place that once enrolled and celebrated the Fab Five. I knew Beilein was great. I just didn't think he was a great fit at Michigan. And that's still debatable, I guess. But it doesn't matter. Because he's been terrific while leading the Wolverines to seven of the past nine NCAA Tournaments -- a run that includes three Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and an appearance in the 2013 national title game.

And Beilein hasn't damaged his reputation at all.

Which isn't necessarily the norm.

Sometimes coaches get new jobs and compromise their moral compasses; pressures make them do things they previously never imagined doing. But that doesn't seem to be the case with Beilein. Or, at least, his colleagues don't believe it to be the case. And that's just about the greatest compliment he could receive -- that he's flourished without changing and won big without cheating.

Coaches love to point fingers -- even at the giants of the sport.

But with Beilein, really, they just tip their hats.

The Maizer

August 24th, 2017 at 12:20 PM ^

Two options: Maizen hired a PR firm and this was their solution to offset his anti-Beilein image. Or Maizen doesn't approve of the squeaky clean tactics because we don't get the 5 star recruits that way and this is actually a slam on Beilein. Note that he didn't actually give his own opinion on the matter.

matty blue

August 24th, 2017 at 2:28 PM ^

duke has enough juice to be a major player without cheating.  i think the recent one-and-dones at duke are more a result of coach weaselface deciding that he needed to get him some of those guys to compete.  once he started recruiting them, he was naturally going to get some of them.

NOTE that i'm not saying they're completely clean, just that you can get those guys without cheating.  sheshevski is guilty of many (many, MANY) things, but cheating on the recruiting trail is not at the top of the list.


August 24th, 2017 at 8:09 PM ^

I'm not the coach K hater many are; I think he's a good coach and, generally, a credit to the sport and stuff. 

But I stopped blindly assuming people were ethical because they did a good job saying so on tv after I wised up about Lance Armstrong. 

There may be guys that can be recruited ethically, and schools like Kentucky and Duke will indeed be big draws for them...

But there's just no way that all of these basketball players that have been cruising the AAU circuit and had big time money thrown their way are going to all turn down shady benefits from a variety of schools to go to Duke and Kentucky out of the goodness of their hearts. No way at all. And if things are that dirty, Duke's ability to compete and win in that environment tells us something. And it's not something that reflects well on Coach K's ethics.

Bando Calrissian

August 24th, 2017 at 11:55 AM ^

When you look at the success this program is having doing things the right way, it's downright baffling that the fanbase is so willing to overlook the sins of the 1990s and unabashedly celebrate the Fab Five, etc.

It can be done correctly. You don't have to sell your program down the river with cut corners and bag men to be successful.

Now Michigan has tried it both ways, which feels better?


August 24th, 2017 at 12:48 PM ^

I prefer this (the Beilein way) to the old way, sure.

I haven't met many Michigan fans who celebrate the Fab Five unabashedly. Most will acknowledge the sliminess.

As far as ultimate success is concerned, I was watching closely in 2013, but the odds of a championship will be long when Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke somehow get multiple "one-and-dones" (including the unsavory kind in varying amounts) every year.


August 24th, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

How many times does it have to be explained that the violations were not from the Fab Five? Webber, Maurice Taylor, Tractor, and Louis Bullock are the players that destroyed Michigan basketball.

The FBI investigated Jalen, Juwan, Jimmy, and Ray and found nothing the NCAA gave a fuck about. Four members of the Fab Five should be celebrated. Only Webber should not. 

The NCAA ordered Michigan to disassociate from Webber until 2013 and  Traylor, Taylor, and Bullock until 2012.


Bando Calrissian

August 24th, 2017 at 2:03 PM ^

Cool. You're forgetting the fact that Fisher moved heaven and earth in some pretty shady ways to get those guys on campus.

(See: Everything involving Perry Watson and the recruitment of Webber and Rose, Juwan's high school coach, etc.)

The NCAA investigations are only part of the story. 


August 24th, 2017 at 11:56 AM ^

Pretty cool. You really have to assume the majority of these guys are cheating simply because they don't tattle on each other. Either that or the NCAA it's doesn't care one lick. My vote is for both.


August 24th, 2017 at 5:53 PM ^

Just because some schools cheat to get top talent doesn't mean they all do or that it is impossible to recruit at a high level without cheating. Sure it's easier if you cheat but there are plenty of clean programs that recuirt better than we do under JB.

That said, JB is a great coach and better human being. My only critique is that I wish we had sustained the level of recruiting we saw leading up to the NC run.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:12 PM ^

I saw this linked and came to the board and it was here. And Maizen does a great job reflecting the information in the survey.

Beilein wins big here, and its a credit to the school. 

Maizen has often been critical of Michigan's ability to recruit top Bball talent (and, for the results Michigan gets and the substance of the program, we do seem to fall short on top guys). So he gets real credit here for linking the other side of the story. Because this suggests that Michigan has taken the "clean" bargain.

The bargain that says, we'll take a guy who can build good teams that periodically make deep runs, but maybe doesn't pull us into the top tier of schools, in return for a clean program.

That's what Michigan has. Are there people who would be ok with a little fudging going on? Well, if Michigan were making more Final Fours and Beilein wasn't high on this list, I don't think anybody would pay much attention to what other coaches thought, because they'd be happy with the Final Four berths. 

But this is great to see.


August 24th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

SRK I agree strongly with most of your post. You're right that people wouldn't care much about this list, but...

I don't think I was alone in feeling uncomfortable with the rumors and smell around the hoops program during the Frieder/Fisher years. 

When the shit hit the fan, it was an embarrassing black mark on the basketball program, athletic department and university.

I think there are many Michigan fans who have decidedly mixed feelings about those years. 

Are there those who would be ok with some fudging? Absolutely. Count me out.

Give me squeaky clean, even with fewer final fours.


August 24th, 2017 at 8:05 PM ^

That's a fair point. As I said, that's the bargain we've taken, and I'm delighted to see that Beilein has by far the most sterling rep.

However, winning cures a lot. If such a poll is conducted regarding college football, Nick Saban probably doesn't get ranked. And Alabama fans aren't worried about it (and not just because they are less ethical). If Harbaugh is on that list, we're thrilled. But if Harbaugh isn't, we're not worried, both because there are non-corrupt reasons for him not to be on that list (remember, James Franklin griped about his recruiting competition, and people have thrown shade for things like the sleepover and satellite camps that are totally legal but disliked) and because what is really important to us is that Michigan wins in football.

The ideal is for Michigan to win clean. But a guy who wins and is a bit slushy (but not LSU-level dirty) is going to be fine, while a guy who is totally clean and loses will get fired.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:15 PM ^

does anybody else find it odd that they're asking other coaches about this?  I mean it's like "hey guys, who's the cleanest coach in the country?"  "Oh well by all means its John Beilein, he's really really clean, like way cleaner than us, and it's not even close by how much cleaner he is than we are" 

Just seems like a weird situation


August 24th, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

Well that settles it then.

A man that clean in the cesspool that is CBB should get some kind of extra credit.

We should start each game with a ten point lead for his troubles.

Twenty if we are playing Kentucky or Louisville.