John Beilein explains decision to leave Michigan for Cavaliers

John Beilein believes he has a great opportunity with the Cavaliers.

Beilein explained his decision to leave Michigan after 12 seasons to become the next coach of Cleveland at his introductory press conference Tuesday.

“I left the greatest university in the world, a place that was special to (wife) Kathleen and I and our entire family to come to some place I think was equally as special,” Beilein told reporters. “I see a lot of the potential and the high, high ceiling with the Cavs organization that I saw at the University of Michigan.

“I love the young roster. I love the draft picks and the potential we have for flexibility now and in the future. I texted Kathleen as we were interviewing a potential candidates at the combine and I just texted her, ‘I love this.’ I love being a part of this.”

Beilein led the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament nine times and reached the championship game twice during his time at the school. But, he’ll take over a Cavaliers team that had much less success last season.

Cleveland was one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2018-19 and finished with a 19-63 record.

“Every single time that we’ve decided to do this, some people would say with every job, and probably with this one, ‘What are you crazy? Why are you doing that?’ And I say exactly that, opportunity and challenges go hand in hand,” Beilein said. “So, when we can be in these situations, it’s so gratifying (to) turn a program (around).

“Rebuild is not a word we’re going to use here, I saw it more as a renaissance. Look at all those banners up there. It’s been done before. Why can’t it be done again?”

The Cavaliers hold the fifth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They’re projected to select Jarrett Culver out of Texas Tech in Sporting News’ latest mock draft.