pictured above: Coach Beilein /photo A Dorcely
by Ashley Dorcely
The history of John Beilein’s success is one thwarted with losses. In order to win, Coach Beilein had to first learn to lose. “In the worst of times the best of things are right around the corner” Beilein said as he spoke about the loss of Darrell Barley to injury and his eventual win of the MAAC conference to head to the NCAA tournament in 1996. Canisius went on to play and lose to a tough Utah team which included the likes of some future NBA players such as Andre Miller.
Coach Beilein has seen all of his coaching positions thus far as an opportunity to help raise better adults. Not to mention help develop a better basketball player as he recalled a statement he made to a Canisius great who later repeated it to him. Dana “Binky” Johnson reminded him of these words “Binky you’re just trying to play basketball, the coaching staff and I are trying to make you into a basketball player.” This resonated so much so that Beilein used it the next day on his Michigan Wolverine’s team.
Now comes what most would think as Beilein’s greatest opportunity; to coach an NBA franchise. The Cleveland Cavaliers, for those who don’t know that’s LeBron’s former team. This team is riddled with youngsters and a few old vets. But for John Beilein it’s just another opportunity in his eyes as you could tell that he had cherished the process and the chances to coach at every level in his coaching journey. He understands that this is a team in almost a complete rebuilding stage. And it’s something he enjoys and doesn’t fear. At the core teaching to play the game in the right way is what he’s about. There are certain characteristics universal to all good teams Beilein stated. This is what he plans to exude at this stop as well. “All I wanted to do was be a History teacher and coach football, basketball and baseball. That’s all I wanted to do my whole life.”