April 03, 2007

Beilein to leave West Virginia for Michigan

DETROIT - It appears John Beilein will take on the challenge of trying to restore Michigan to basketball glory.

The Detroit Free Press reported Monday that Beilein will leave West Virginia to take the coaching job at Michigan. Neither school has confirmed the hiring.

Beilein, 54, has spent the last five years at West Virginia, guiding the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament regional final in 2005, the regional semifinals in 2006 and the National Invitation Tournament title this season.

Michigan has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1998 and fired coach Tommy Amaker on March 17. Amaker compiled a 108-83 record in six seasons, winning the NIT in 2004.

However, the Wolverines would like to restore the success they enjoyed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when players such as Gary Grant, Glen Rice, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard starred at the school.

Michigan won the national championship in 1989 and lost in back-to-back title games in 1992 and 1993 under coach Steve Fisher.

Beilein's contract at West Virginia is through the 2011-12 season. But it appears Michigan is willing to buy out the deal.

Beilein has compiled a record of 456-267 with four schools - LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia.

This season, the Mountaineers did not get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament despite a 22-9 record, including 9-7 in the Big East Conference.

West Virginia was as a top seed in the NIT, where it won five games, including a 78-73 victory over Clemson in Thursday's title game.

The Wolverines were 22-13 this season but just 8-8 in the Big Ten Conference. They suffered a 21-point drubbing at Florida State in the second round of the NIT.

Goestenkors leaving Duke for Texas

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Gail Goestenkors is leaving Duke to coach the Texas women's basketball team, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Goestenkors, 44, built a powerhouse during her 15 seasons at Duke, winning seven Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year awards and compiling a career record of 396-99.

The person with knowledge of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not yet been made.

Duke guard Abby Waner said a team meeting was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but did not know why it was being held.

Goestenkors was widely considered the top candidate to replace Hall of Famer Jody Conradt at Texas after her sudden resignation last month.

The night Conradt retired, Texas officials made it clear they would be willing to pay for a top-notch coach. Conradt earned $550,000 a year. While Goestenkors' salary at Duke is not a public record, it was believed the private school would be unlikely to match a high offer from the Longhorns.

Goestenkors visited the Texas campus last week, when she met with women's athletic director Chris Plonsky and members of the school's search committee and toured the Longhorns' 44,000-square-foot practice facilities.

Goestenkors coached the Blue Devils to four Final Fours and two appearances in the national championship game. Her last Duke team was one of her best -- the Blue Devils ended the regular season ranked No. 1 and held the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament, but were upset in the regional semifinals by Rutgers. Duke ended the season with a 32-2 record.

After Goestenkors visited Austin, Duke held an on-campus rally attended by fans and players to urge her to stay. But Texas is considered one of nation's best programs with its first-rate facilities and a recruiting pipeline to 1,300 Texas high schools.

Goestenkors already has established herself with those schools, signing star senior Lindsey Harding out of the Houston area.

Conradt spent 31 seasons at Texas and won her only national championship in 1986, when the Longhorns went 34-0. She retired with a career record of 900-306 in 38 seasons at Sam Houston State, Texas-Arlington and Texas.

Conradt and Tennessee's Pat Summitt are the only Division I coaches with 900 or more victories, but the Longhorns last made the Final Four in 2003.

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