Beilein shrugs off retirement talk
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan coach John Beilein's new contract will keep him with the Wolverines through the 2018-19 season. Whether retirement awaits after that, he isn't ready to say.
The 60-year-old coach will make $2.45 million in annual compensation under the new deal. The three-year extension replaced his previous contract, which was to end after the 2015-16. His first contract, which paid $1.3 million plus incentives, made him the highest paid basketball coach in school history.
And now he is set through the 2018-19 season.
"At least," he said Tuesday. "When I first got here, I at least wanted to coach that contract. Who knows right now where that all goes, but I love the faith the university has in me to at least redo my contract to that extension."
He said there was no sense of urgency to get a deal done, but added it felt good knowing he could make incoming high school juniors a promise he'd be there if they signed with Michigan.
"It would be good to get it as we began recruiting," he said. "My plan was to coach at least six more years and put that so the 2015 class knew."
The Wolverines fell to Louisville in the NCAA title game, the school's first trip there since the early 1990s. Beilein said the cache that comes with reaching the final game of the season only has helped on the recruiting trail. He remembered one of his earliest recruits here asking him if Michigan ever was any good in basketball.
"When we ask them if they watched the championship game they say, `Of course,'" he said. "When we ask them if they're interested in Michigan, they say, `Of course.' That's very positive."
Beilein has guided the Wolverines to four NCAA Tournament appearances and the team shared its first Big Ten title last year for the first time since 1986.
Guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., key players in the championship-game run, left early and were taken in the first round of the NBA draft. Sophomore forwards Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III will be the likely nucleus of the coming season's team.
Michigan hired Beilein in 2007 after he led West Virginia to an NIT title. He's also had stops at Richmond, Canisius, LeMoyne, Nazareth and Erie (N.Y.) Community College. His career record as a head coach is 673-403.
The new contract is a far cry from his first college paycheck. Erie paid him $12,000 a year when became its head coach in 1978.