Michigan basketball fires head coach Juwan Howard

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Michigan basketball fans thought this day wouldn’t come, given all of the rumors and speculation out there that athletic director Warde Manuel was leaning towards retaining head coach Juwan Howard.

But Howard — who missed the early season after recuperating from offseason heart surgery — didn’t seem to have a handle on his team. The Wolverines finished the 2023-24 season with a program worst 8-24 record, and the team finished out the season looking terribly uncompetitive — even against bad teams in the Big Ten.

However, the University of Michigan announced that Juwan Howard will not be retained and that he has been relieved of his duties.

Full release

Warde Manuel, the University of Michigan’s Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, announced Friday (March 15) that a leadership change would be made in men’s basketball with the David and Meredith Kaplan head coach Juwan Howard not returning next season.

“After a comprehensive review of the program, I have decided that Juwan will not return as our men’s basketball coach,” said Manuel. “Juwan is among the greatest Wolverines to ever be associated with our basketball program. I know how much it meant, to not only Juwan, but to all of us for him to return here to lead this program. Despite his love of his alma mater and the positive experience that our student-athletes had under his leadership, it was clear to me that the program was not living up to our expectations and not trending in the right direction. I am thankful for Juwan’s dedication, passion and commitment to U-M and for all that he, and his legacy, will continue to mean to Michigan.”

During his five seasons in Ann Arbor, Howard has compiled an 82-67 record, with two NCAA Tournament (2021 & 2022) selections as well as a postseason NIT appearance (2023). Capturing the 2021 Big Ten regular-season title (14-3) under Howard, the Wolverines had four straight 10-plus Big Ten win seasons as he tallied a 48-47 mark in conference play. In 2021, he was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year as well as the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year. He also coached six Wolverines who went on to be selected in the NBA Draft, including three top-15 picks.

Howard returned to his alma mater for his first head coaching position after spending six years on the staff with the NBA’s Miami Heat. After spending one season in player development following his retirement, Howard was elevated to an assistant coach in 2014-15, working under Erik Spoelstra for the next five seasons. Prior to getting into coaching, Howard had an accomplished 19-year NBA career, which was capped off with back-to-back NBA titles (2012 & 2013) while playing with the Miami Heat.

As a member of the famed “Fab Five,” Howard spent three seasons (1991-94) in Ann Arbor playing for head coach Steve Fisher. A two-time All-American (1993, ’94), Howard closed his U-M career with 1,526 points (15.3 ppg) and 745 rebounds (7.5 rpg).

A national search will begin immediately.

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