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Fab Fiver Juwan Howard returning to Michigan as head coach

A member of the “Fab Five” as a Wolverine player in the 1990s, Juwan Howard is headed back to Ann Arbor to take over as the new head basketball coach at his alma mater. Howard, who has been playing or coaching in the NBA every season since he was taken 5th overall in the 1994 Draft, was an All-American for the Maize and Blue.

“We have found someone with high integrity, great character and a coach who has unbelievable knowledge of the game of basketball,” AD Warde Manuel said Wednesday. “Juwan has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, a wonderful communicator and a developer of talent. We couldn’t have asked for a better role model for the young men in our program. We are excited to welcome back a member of the family to Ann Arbor.”

Howard has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat since 2013, joining the staff after playing for the team for the last three years of his career. He was a part of the two NBA titles won by Miami’s “Big Three,” though he played sparingly and served as more of player-coach. Now he gets his chance as a head coach, returning to a place where is well known by fans and boosters alike.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan’s storied basketball program,” Howard said in a statement. “As a ‘Michigan Man’ I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level. We will continue to develop young men on the court, in the classroom and in the community that our fan base will continue to be proud of.”

Michigan found itself unexpectedly searching for a new head man after longtime head coach John Beilein announced his departure for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wolverines have gone dancing in eight of the last nine years and had two NCAA Runner-up finishes under Beilein, including the 2013 title game that Louisville won and was later forced to vacate.

Per the school’s official announcement, Howard’s deal is for five years and starts at $2 million annually.


credit to David Zalubowski/Associated Press for the photo