They were once rivals on the collegiate hardwood, but there was always and still remains a healthy respect between former Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein and Michigan State Spartans coach Tom Izzo.
Of course, Beilein spent 12 successful years in Ann Arbor before deciding to try his hand coaching in the NBA, which unfortunately turned out to be nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.
Beilein resigned as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month, just 2/3 of the way into year one of a five-year pact he signed last summer. Numerous issues doomed Beilein almost from the beginning
“I absolutely do feel bad,” Izzo said of Beilein’s situation. “I think John is a great guy and a good coach. I don’t look at it as he’s a bad coach because he wasn’t successful there. When you get dealt with different cards when you take over jobs, it doesn’t matter if it’s in football, basketball or whatever, there’s going to be a learning curve.”
Though Beilein’s brief tenure in the NBA wasn’t successful, Izzo believes that he’ll be coaching again.
“Maybe he will come back to college,” Izzo said. “Maybe he will get another pro job. I think he enjoyed what he was doing early on, but I don’t know what that meant later on.
“I think John’s a very good coach and can be successful going to any level he’s been at.”
– – Quotes via Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press Link – –