Beilein trying his hand at head coach
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
There’s a Beilein back on a basketball court in the state of West Virginia.
Pat Beilein, 29, son of former West Virginia and current Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, is making his head coaching debut this season at West Virginia Wesleyan, a Division II school in Buckhannon, W.Va.
Pat now lives about an hour southwest of Morgantown, where he played for his dad and helped the Mountaineers to appearances in the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 less than a decade ago.
“I don’t think there’s a better place that I could have started to become a head coach,” the younger Beilein said. “It’s definitely nice to be back. The support I’ve got through email and phone calls has been incredible.
“I’m excited to get the season going and start my own path toward becoming a Division I coach. If I can be half as good as my dad someday, I’ll think that’s 100% success.”
Pat called his father his most valuable asset, and it’s hard to argue with that. John has 37 years of head coaching experience, including 20 in Division I where he has a .604 winning percentage. Pat and John exchange text messages and phone calls at least once a week, but both think the frequency will increase as practices and games get under way.
“We share a lot of ideas,” John said. “At this point, it’s more conceptual – going over anything I wish I had done differently in rebuilding programs. He’s in the same situation.
“I’m sure when we get to the season, I’m going to hear, ‘Dad, I need a good out-of-bounds play.’ Or I can say, ‘Pat, I need a good out-of-bounds play.’ Those things will go back and forth once we start getting into the X’s and O’s.”
Until the season starts, Pat will work on the other aspects of being a head coach. There’s a lot to do, from checking that hotels are booked for road trips to making sure his players are eating right and attending classes. Pat said he tries to give his players carefully constructed schedules — class, study halls, meal times — so … [For more on Younger Beilein trying his hand at being head coach, click here.]