BasketballBig TenFiring

Juwan Howard fired after tumultuous five-year tenure at Michigan

Michigan has officially fired head men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard after an up-and-down five-year tenure. Howard finishes with an overall record of 82-67 but is coming off one of the worst seasons in program history, which saw the Wolverines finish in last in the Big Ten at just 3-17.

“After a comprehensive review of the program, I have decided that Juwan will not return as our men’s basketball coach,” said AD Warde 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.”

To say things took a sharp and rapid decline for Howard would be an understatement. In 2021, Howard was the National COY after leading his alma mater to a Big Ten regular season title and what would be the first of back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend. But over the last two years, he made more headlines for his actions of the court and for how much the Wolverines started struggling on it.

Howard missed the start of the 2023-24 season while recovering from an offseason heart surgery and interim head coach Phil Martelli led the team for 10 games (5-5) before Howard officially took back over. He won just 3 games the rest of the way and UM finished dead last in the conference standings. Stories of verbal sparring with players and staffers have circled the program for years, painting a picture of basketball program operating in fear of its leader. Some wondered if he would even finish the season, so it is no surprise the change happens today just after the season ends.

Thus ends another tenure of a high-profile head coach who was hired at their alma mater with little-to-no collegiate coaching experience. Howard is still a legend at Michigan for his playing days, and the way his tenure as head coach got started, but his legacy will certainly change with how the last couple years have gone and the hole the program has fallen into.


credit to Michigan Athletics for the image