Cavs make it official: John Beilein is their head coach

The Cavs signed him to a five-year deal

James Rapien
May 13, 2019 - 12:28 pm
Mar 24, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein celebrates with the trophy after the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the championship game of the West regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at STAP

© Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cavaliers officially announced the hiring of John Beilein. The 66-year-old becomes the 22nd head coach in team history. 

Beilein spent the last 12 seasons coaching the University of Michigan, in a run that included two Final Four appearances and four Big Ten Titles.

“We conducted a deep and thorough search to find the best possible candidate for the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. We interviewed several strong and talented candidates who, no doubt, will get an opportunity to become an NBA head coach somewhere down the line,” Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman said in a statement. “Following the end of those interviews, it became clear to us that Coach Beilein was the right choice and best fit for our franchise. John is one of the most accomplished and innovative basketball minds and leaders in the entire game. He has a unique ability to create an outstanding culture that will promote the development of young players and provide a solid structure to the entire program; not to mention the fact that John Beilein wins everywhere he goes.”

Beilein has never been in an assistant coach. He's had stops in Richmond, West Virginia, Canisius Le Moyne and Nazareth. He posted a 829-468 college record, but has never coached in the NBA. He spoke with Detroit and Orlando last year about becoming their head coach, but ultimately decided to return to Michigan. 

“I felt very strongly about this new and exciting opportunity with the Cavaliers,” Beilein said in a statement. "I am very thankful to Dan Gilbert and Koby Altman and honored to be the head coach of the Cavaliers. I love the position the team is in to build and grow and this was something I felt was the perfect fit for me. With hard work and dedication by all of us, we will grow this team day by day and reinforce a culture of success that sustains itself with strong core values. Cleveland is a great city with amazing fans and I am really looking forward to calling Cleveland home for years to come.”

Altman and the Cavaliers were looking for a "culture driver" during this process. While Beilein hasn't coached in the NBA, he has built a winning culture with multiple different programs. He's considered one of the best college coaches in the country and now has a chance to prove he can do it at the highest level. 

The Cavaliers plan to surround Beilein with an experienced staff of NBA assistants according to multiple reports.

The future of the Cavaliers is starting to come together. The next step in the rebuild is the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday May 14. They have a 14 percent chance of getting the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Beilein and the rest of the Cavaliers are hoping this announcement brings them some good luck in the lottery.  

The Cavaliers are guaranteed to get a pick in the top six.