Michigan fires Juwan Howard after 8-24 season

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Michigan fired men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard on Friday after five seasons.

The Wolverines limped to an 8-24 overall record (3-17 Big Ten) this season. They dropped their ninth straight decision on Wednesday with a 66-57 setback to Penn State in the first round of the conference tournament.

In addition to Michigan’s struggles on the court, Howard reportedly was involved in a confrontation with then-strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson during a practice — prompting a review from the university. The incident came during a time in which Howard was working his way back to serving as head coach after undergoing a heart procedure in mid-September.

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

“Juwan is among the greatest Wolverines to ever be associated with our basketball program. 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.”

Howard, 51, will receive a $3 million buyout since the firing occurred prior to June 30, per his contract.

Howard guided Michigan to a 2021 Big Ten regular-season title, earning Associated Press national and conference coach of the year honors to boot. He finished with an 87-72 record and helped the Wolverines qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2021 and 2022.

A member of the famed “Fab Five,” Howard was a two-time All-American during his three-year playing career at Michigan (1991-94).