Howard sheds tears of joy as takes the reins at MI

Howard sheds tears of joy as takes the reins at MI

Thursday in Ann Arbor was different, however, with Juwan Howard and his introduction to the MI basketball program as its new leader.

"When I get into something, I'm all in", Howard said. Juwan Howard was hired by athletic director Warde Manuel over a week ago, but didn't arrive in Ann Arbor until Wednesday, descending into town at dusk aboard a private plane with his family.

"Tears of joy", he said.

"I said I wasn't gonna cry", Howard remarked.

It had been 25 years since Juwan Howard was last a member of the MI basketball program. "I'm back to help continue this attractive culture that has been instilled here before me and, whenever that day comes, after me".

Manuel later affirmed this wasn't some feel-good hire with hopes of reuniting the Fab Five. He remembers he felt as if he let the program down, leaving without delivering a championship.

Howard played basketball at MI for three years before being drafted in the NBA by the Washington Bullets. Beilein's decision was a surprise - it not only came well after the college basketball coaching carousel had stopped, but the carousel's power was turned off and the front gate was locked. Howard, who has been an assistant on the Miami Heat staff for the past six seasons, said he was preparing to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves job at the time but couldn't keep his focus off his old school. "That's all I can say at this moment".

Howard called his new position a "dream job".

The 6-foot-7 Howard, wearing a dark suit adorned with two pins - a gold block "M" and a silver Jordan Jumpman logo - and a maize and blue tie, said that becoming Michigan's head men's basketball coach was the second biggest accomplishment of his life.

"I'm going to gamble with people who love this place the way he does", he said Thursday. "I laid back on my pillow and I said, 'Coach Beilein just left MI.' I've always been asked by my friends and my family, 'Would you ever coach college basketball?' There's only one school I would pursue on the collegiate level and that's the University of MI".

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