Michigan’s John Beilein was tabbed by CBS as the ‘Coach of the Year‘:
It’s not that anyone thought John Beilein’s Michigan team was bad. It’s just that not many people outside the state thought of Michigan at all for most of the early season. We were all focused on Michigan’s more hyped, more talented in-state rival, Michigan State. But the Wolverines broke into the AP Top 25 on Jan. 15, two days after beating Michigan State in East Lansing. They hung around the bottom of the top 25 for the next month, until suddenly they became the hottest team in the nation.
Michigan’s last loss was Feb. 6, two days after the Super Bowl. The Wolverines have won 13 in a row, and Beilein is going to his first Final Four since his team lost to Louisville in the 2013 title game. And they’re doing it on defense — despite Beilein’s longstanding reputation as an offensive guru, this team is building its reputation on one of the nation’s best defenses. That’s the reason why the 65-year-old Beilein, one of the most respected coaches in the game, is CBSSports.com’s Coach of the Year.
There’s one more thing that makes it special that Beilein is our national coach of the year. This season of college basketball has been shadowed by the FBI scandal that broke in September. Yet here is Beilein at the end of the season, still winning despite his reputation — among peers — as the cleanest high-major coach in the country. To be sure, Beilein won this award because his team vastly exceeded its expectations in making a Final Four run. But it’s pretty sweet, during a dark college basketball season like this one, to be able to award a coach who is respected for things other than winning. — Reid Forgrave