WVU Notebook: Beilein On The Move; Sad News On Former Mountaineer TE
The wandering man is on the move again.
Michigan head men’s basketball coach John Beilein, who also guided West Virginia’s program from 2002-07, is heading to the NBA.
ESPN was the first to report that Beilein is going to become the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 66-year-old Beilein, who is a native of Burt, N.Y., has spent the last 44 seasons coaching basketball – three in high school and 41 in college. This will be his first foray into the professional realm.
After graduating from Wheeling Jesuit College in 1975, Beilein spent three years as the head coach at Newfane (N.Y.) High School (1976-78), and then moved into the college world, hopping from Erie Community College (1978-82) to Nazareth (1982-83) to LeMoyne (1983-92) to Canisius (1992-97) to Richmond (1997-2002) to West Virginia (2002-07) to Michigan (2007-2019) and now for the first time to the professional level.
As he marched through the college ranks, he proved to be ultra-successful at every stop. His overall college coaching record was 754-425, and in his 41 years, his teams suffered through just three losing seasons – a 14-15 mark in 1985-86, which was his third year at LeMoyne, and in his first seasons at both WVU (14-15) and Michigan (10-22).
He posted a 104-60 mark in his five years with West Virginia and a 278-150 record in 12 years at Michigan.
Twenty of his teams won 20 or more games, including 13 of his last 18. His clubs made the NCAA Tournament 13 times, and they reached the Sweet 16 eight times. Two of his Michigan squads advanced to the NCAA Championship game, though they settled for a runner-up spot in both (2013 and 2018).
Beilein will take over a Cleveland squad that was one of the worst in the NBA this past season. Having advanced to the NBA finals in each of the previous four years with LeBron James leading the way, winning it all in 2016, the Cavs spiraled to 19-63 this past year after James left via free agency for the L.A. Lakers. Only the New York Knicks (17-65) had a worse record in the NBA this season.
Beilein faces a major rebuilding job in Cleveland. Not only does he inherit a bad team that no longer has LeBron, but the Cavs’ top holdover from its championship era, Kevin Love, also appears to be leaving. The 10-year pro recently opted out of his contract for next season and will be a free agent.
Beilein will have at least one familiar face when he arrives in Cleveland. Former Mountaineer Mike Gansey (2005-06) is the Cavaliers’ assistant general manager.
Cleveland’s owner is Dan Gilbert and its G.M. is Koby Altman, and now its head coach is John Beilein.
The Cavs are hoping to hit it big in next month’s NBA Draft. The order for that draft will be established Tuesday when the NBA holds its lottery. Cleveland, New York and Phoenix all have the best odds of getting the No. 1 overall pick (14 percent), which will almost certainly be Duke’s Zion Williamson, and all three have a 52.1 percent chance of obtaining a top four slot.
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Sad news filtered to West Virginia out of Florida this past weekend, as former Mountaineer tight end Adrian Moss lost a valiant battle against cancer on Saturday.
A native of Cocoa, Fla., the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Moss arrived at WVU in 1985 and after a redshirt season, he developed into an excellent tight end. His top single-game performance came as a junior in 1988 when he had five catches for 85 yards and a TD to help the Mountaineers stave off an upset bid at East Carolina, thus keeping alive their undefeated regular season. He finished his career with 32 catches for 471 yards. That’s the 11th most career catches ever by a WVU tight end.
After graduating from West Virginia University in 1990, Moss moved back to Florida and became a deputy for the Brevard County Sherriff’s Office. In his 28 years as a deputy sheriff, he rose to the rank of corporal.
A gentle giant off the field, Adrian spent nearly three decades serving the citizens of Brevard County, but Mountaineer fans also have wonderful memories of the man taken from us too young.