Why He’s interesting: The longtime college basketball coach knows a thing or two about working with promising basketball players. For 12 seasons, the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach led the University of Michigan basketball team back to relevance with a 278-150 record, including two trips to the NCAA national title game.
Developer Mode: Beilein has been coaching college-level basketball since 1978. He likens watching younger players reach an “ah-ha” moment to what it’s like watching his own children learn to tie their shoes or speak in full sentences for the first time. “Same thing when you see that a guy really executes a play right. They’re all rewarding things.”
Game Plan: The Cavs have a young core now comprised of rookies such as point guard Darius Garland and second-year guard Collin Sexton. While they aren’t winning as many games as they’d like, part of Beilein’s job has been helping players develop. “We’re trying to keep a positive attitude about our growth, so that does have people finding small victories within a game that you may lose.”
No Tie Guy: During his college coaching career, Beilein would take off his sport coat and just wear a tie on the sideline, but in the NBA, coaches can receive a technical foul if they remove their coat. So he’s coached each Cavs game this season sans tie to stay comfortable. “We have some real fashion-conscious players on our team, so I’ve got to be very careful that I keep up with some of the latest trends.”
Squad Goals: Beilein is one of nine siblings and his mother came from a family of 13. She had two brothers who coached basketball and they had a big influence on him. “I would go to their games, and that sort of drew me into coaching.”
Three and Out:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Do it right, or don’t do it at all.
What’s your most treasured item?
I have four children, four grandchildren and we’re expecting another shortly. The most fun for me is to watch them all grow.
What’s the one thing people don’t know about you?
I love listening to baseball or football games on the radio. You imagine the plays, you hear the crowd and it just enhances the experience.
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