Top 5 Head Coach Candidates for the Michigan Wolverines

 Top 5 Head Coach Candidates for the Michigan Wolverines

The University of Michigan had an 87-72 record in five years under coach Howard, led the Wolverines to a Big Ten championship, and was named AP Coach of the Year in 2021. After that, it steadily declined. U-M advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed the following season, but Howard missed five regular-season games and was suspended for punching Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Kravenhoft in the face.

Before the wheels came off this season, Michigan had an All-American and two picks in the top 15 of the NBA draft on their roster, and they missed the tournament for the second time in more than ten years the year before.

Michigan (8-24, 3-17 Big Ten) finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten for the first time since 1966–67, lost the most games in program history, and went three months without winning a game away from Crisler Center.

It’s up to someone else to clean up the mess. Below is a list of candidates who could be on Manuel list to try to reverse that course.

1. Dusty May – Florida Atlantic

One of the most attractive young coaching names, Dusty May will be considered for almost every significant position in the Midwest or South of the United States. May is now linked to the open Michigan position after being mentioned as a potential candidate for the Ohio State and Louisville positions. His 47-year-old Florida Atlantic Owls are making their second straight season to the NCAA Tournament. His goal is to repeat his Final Four run from last March. He was raised in the Midwest and worked as a manager for Bob Knight in Indiana. It would be highly smart for the Wolverines to call May.

2. T.J. Otzelberger – Iowa State

As the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, T.J. Otzelberger is doing an outstanding job. They have fantastic fan support and play in a competitive league. However, Michigan may outbid Iowa State and get Otzelberger if they made a run at him, given the growing financial gap between the Big Ten/SEC and the rest of the field. He had a short time at UNLV after his success at South Dakota State, then he surprised everyone by leading Iowa State to the Sweet 16 last season. His reputation has grown even further this season after the Cyclones defeated Houston in the Big 12 Tournament final and placed second in the Big 12.

3. Brian Dutcher – San Diego State

San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher, 64, has spent decades in San Diego, but may not be interested in starting a redevelopment project in Ann Arbor. If he’s interested in returning to the Midwest, Michigan State makes a lot of sense. Dutcher was an assistant to Steve Fisher in Ann Arbor for nine years before following him to San Diego State and ultimately replacing him in 2017. SDSU’s selection to the NCAA Tournament, for the fifth time in seven seasons, is a guiding light for Coach Dutcher’s Aztec team.

4. Niko Medved – Colorado State

Sooner rather than later, Niko Medved will be a high-major coach. The question of which university will hire him remains. Medved is a 50-year-old Minneapolis native who attended the University of Minnesota. Before leaving for Colorado State in 2018, he spent one strange season at Drake after leading the Furman Paladins to their first-ever postseason triumph in school history. For the Rams, he has won at least twenty games four times. The team’s 2024 NCAA Tournament trip marks their second under Medved. He is renowned for having a sharp attacking mind, and his teams play in modern style.

5. Darian DeVries – Drake

Darian DeVries led the Drake Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons, and the team won at least 24 games in all but one of the seasons he coached. Ta. Drake won back-to-back seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament under Coach DeVries. He’s an Iowa native in his 48th year, so he’s familiar with Big Ten territory. DeVries isn’t a big name, but he has a success rate of over 73% and should be taken seriously in the opening.


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