John Beilein

John Beilein

Considered to be one of the best tactical basketball minds in the country, John Beilein was an innovator in college basketball during his four decades patrolling the sidelines.

Known for never serving as a collegiate assistant coach, Beilein compiled a career record of 829-468 (.639) during his 41 years as a collegiate head coach, recording 20-plus win seasons on 23 occasions and finishing with a winning record in 35 seasons. His 754 wins at four-year schools places him 19th all-time.

Beilein had 20 career postseason appearances – 13 in the NCAA Division I Tournament, six in the NIT and one in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Beilein is one of two coaches to have taken five schools to the NCAA’s – LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan.

The Burt, NY native got his start at Newfane HS, where he taught social studies and coached football, basketball and baseball for three years. In 1978, he moved to Erie Community College and led them to a 75-43 record over four seasons. From there, he moved east to Nazareth College for one year (20-6) and then to LeMoyne, where he was 163-94 over nine seasons that included the Dolphins first ever NCAA Division II Tournament bid in 1988.

John took his first NCAA Division I job at Canisius, where he led the Golden Griffins to three consecutive post-season appearances – 1994 NIT, the 1995 NIT semifinals and the school’s first NCAA appearance in 39 years in 1996. Beilein’s Canisius teams went 89-62, which included a school record 16 game winning streak. He was the 1994 New York State Coach of the Year and is a member of the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame.

From Buffalo, Beilein took his talents to the University of Richmond for five campaigns leading the Spiders to a 100-53 record and an NCAA Tournament berth, where they knocked off South Carolina. From Richmond, John moved to West Virginia, where the Mountaineers won 104 games in five seasons, including a visit to the NCAA Elite 8 in 2005, the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006 and an NIT championship in 2007.

Michigan became his final collegiate stop and his most noteworthy. The all-time winningest coach in Wolverines history, Beilein’s teams went 278-150, while winning four Big 10 championships. His teams made nine NCAA appearances compiling a 20-9 record in NCAA Tournament play. Michigan twice advanced to the national championship game.

Collegiately, Beilein played four seasons (1971-75) at Wheeling College serving as team captain during his junior season. He received a bachelor’s degree in history before earning a master’s degree in education from Niagara in 1978.

Beilein is currently serving as a Senior Advisor and Director of Player Development with the Detroit Pistons.

The biographies contained on this website were written at the time of the honoree's induction into the Hall of Fame. No attempt has been made to update these narratives to reflect more recent events, activities, or statistics.