One assumes that Michigan was just about as blindsided as everyone else about John Beilein, at 66 years old and with no rumors that he was even interviewing for the gig, taking the Cavs’ head coaching job.
While I listed five candidates to replace Beilein on the relatively realistic spectrum, I’m kicking myself for missing the potential home run hire: Billy Donovan, whom Jeff Goodman of Stadium picked as his best bet to get the job.
Donovan won two national championships at Florida and he’s stuck in a holding pattern in Oklahoma City where Russell Westbrook and Paul George are good enough to get the Thunder into the playoffs but not great enough to get them out of the first round.
Who could honestly know what Donovan is feeling in his heart, but Michigan is just about as good a situation that exists in college basketball, just a smidge below Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas. You have a deep-pocketed institution with passionate fans, a program that recently reached two NCAA finals, sponsorship from Nike’s Jordan brand, and a little less pressure than you’d have at any of the aforementioned blue bloods since football comes first in Ann Arbor.
Before Michigan whittles down the list of who they want to get for the job, they should make Donovan an offer that is profoundly difficult for him to refuse.