University of Michigan fires men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard

Carlos Osorio/AP

The University of Michigan on Friday fired men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard, the former “Fab Five” star who was honored as college coach of the year three years ago.

The Wolverines finished last in the Big Ten with an 8-24 overall record and 3-17 in the conference this season. The team lost their last nine games, including a first-round matchup with Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament earlier this week.

“After a comprehensive review of the program, I have decided that Juwan will not return as our men’s basketball coach,” Warde Manuel, Michigan’s director of athletics, said in a news release.

The 51-year-old Howard, who played at Michigan during the Fab Five era from 1991 to 1994, compiled an 82-67 record while leading the program to two NCAA tournament appearances in 2021 and 2022. He spent the past five seasons at the helm, and was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year and the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year in 2021, when he led Michigan to the Elite Eight.

Manuel said the school decided to make a “leadership change” after a “comprehensive review of the program.”

“Juwan is among the greatest Wolverines to ever be associated with our basketball program,” Manuel said. “I know how much it meant, to not only Juwan, but to all of us for him to return here to lead this program. Despite his love of his alma mater and the positive experience that our student-athletes had under his leadership, it was clear to me that the program was not living up to our expectations and not trending in the right direction.”

“I am thankful for Juwan’s dedication, passion and commitment to U-M and for all that he, and his legacy, will continue to mean to Michigan,” Manuel added.

The school will begin a “national search” for a new coach “immediately.”

CNN’s Brammhi Balarajan contributed to this report.

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