Burt native John Beilein, head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and former head coach of the Canisius men’s basketball program, will be formally inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural Canisius Basketball Tip-Off Reception, the athletic department announced on Monday.
The Canisius Basketball Tip-Off Reception will take place Sept. 24 at the Montante Cultural Center on the campus of Canisius College. The evening will start with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and programming, which will begin at 7 p.m. The cost of a ticket to the event is $100 and tickets will officially go on sale online through the Canisius Office of Alumni Engagement website on Aug. 1. All proceeds from this event will support the Canisius Blue & Gold Fund.
Beilein, who was named the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers on May 14, served as the head coach of the Canisius men’s basketball program from 1992-97. In his time on Main Street, he posted a record of 89-62 and guided the Golden Griffins to the 1994 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season championship and the 1996 MAAC Tournament title, the only MAAC crown in program history. He led the Griffs to three-straight postseason appearances, including the 1995 NIT semifinal round and the 1996 NCAA Tournament, and five of his former players have been inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame. Beilein is the only coach in program history to be named the MAAC Coach of the Year (1994).
Beilein’s 89 career wins as the Griffs’ bench boss rank fifth in program history, and his career winning percentage of .589 is tops among Canisius head coaches that have served as head coach for 100 or more games. He is also the only coach in the program’s 30-year MAAC history to take the Blue and Gold to multiple MAAC championship game appearances.
After leaving Canisius, Beilein continued his winning ways at Richmond, where he won 100 games in five seasons (1997-2002) and left the Spiders program ranked second in career winning percentage.
Beilein then brought great success to the West Virginia men's basketball program for five seasons (2002-07). Under his direction, the Mountaineers compiled a record of 104-60 and earned four consecutive postseason berths, including two-straight Sweet 16 appearances in 2005 and 2006. During the Mountaineers' 2005 NCAA Tournament run, West Virginia advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 42 years.
In his 12 seasons with Michigan (2007-19), Beilein compiled a 278-149 record and led the Wolverines to a pair of national championship game appearances (2013, 2018) en route to becoming the winningest coach in program history. Under Beilein's tutelage, Michigan made nine NCAA Tournament appearances, won two Big Ten regular-season titles, including the program's first outright crown in 28 years in 2014, and captured back-to-back Big Ten Tournament titles. Last March in the NCAA Tournament, Beilein guided Michigan to its third-straight Sweet 16, putting Michigan alongside Gonzaga and Kentucky as the only three schools to reach the Sweet 16 in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In his 41 years as a collegiate head coach, Beilein compiled a career record of 829-468 (.639), recorded 20-plus-win seasons on 23 occasions and finished with a winning record in 35 of those campaigns. Beilein has 20 career postseason appearances — 13 in the NCAA Division I Tournament, six in the NIT and one in the NCAA Division II Tournament. With the nine trips to the Big Dance with Michigan, he is one of 14 coaches to have taken four different schools to the NCAA Tournament — Canisius (1996), Richmond (1998), West Virginia (2005, 2006) and Michigan (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). He also served as the head coach at Division II Le Moyne (1983-92) and he coached for one season at Division III Nazareth College.
Collegiately, Beilein played four seasons (1971-75) at Wheeling College, (now Wheeling Jesuit University) serving as team captain during his junior year. He is also a member of that school’s Hall of Fame. Beilein received a bachelor's degree in history from Wheeling before earning a master's degree in education from Niagara in 1981.
Beilein and his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, have four children — daughter, Seana (Hendricks) and three sons, Patrick, Mark and Andrew. The Beileins have four grandchildren — Finley, Johnny and Charlie with daughter Seana and a fourth, Tommy, with son Patrick. Patrick Beilein was recently named the head men’s basketball coach at Niagara University after leading the Le Moyne men’s basketball program for four years.
Beilein will be the 18th former head coach to be inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame and the fifth former men’s basketball coach to receive the honor.