John Beilein, who has coached at nearly every level of basketball below the professional ranks, is reportedly considering a move to the NBA.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted on Friday afternoon that Beilein, the University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach, interviewed for the Detroit Pistons coaching job on Thursday.
An NBA source confirmed to MLive that the interview took place. The Pistons are not commenting on any potential candidates, but the franchise interviewed Dwane Casey and were scheduled to interview Kenny Smith and Juwan Howard among others.
MLive reached out to Michigan basketball spokesperson Tom Wywrot on May 8, after Stan Van Gundy was fired as the Pistons’ coach, to see if Beilein had any interest in the opening and asking if the Pistons had reached out to Beilein. MLive did not receive a response and followed up again Friday.
In November 2015, Michigan announced a two-year contract extension for Beilein that lasts through the 2020-21 season. It pays him $3.37 million annually. Beilein, 65, has been Michigan’s head coach since the 2007-08 season and is the school’s all-time wins leader. He led the program to a national championship appearance last season.
Beilein told reporters in mid-May that he was working with athletic director Warde Manuel on a contract extension. “Warde and I have been both so busy and so apart but we’re talking about that right now,” he said. “So, stay tuned.”
During Michigan’s NCAA Tournament run, both Manuel and U-M president Mark Schlissel praised the coach for his success on the court and clean image off of it. Manuel said in mid-April, “I don’t want John Beilein coaching any other place,” he said.
Beilein, speaking to fans and U-M basketball staff at the team’s post-season banquet, said that Ann Arbor is a special place for him and his wife. “This is our home forever,” Beilein said. “We’ve been a lot of places. We love it here.”
Of course, taking a job with the Pistons — whose home arena is about 40 miles from Ann Arbor — wouldn’t require a relocation.
Stay tuned for more on this developing story.