ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced Wednesday (May 22), former Wolverine All-American and NBA All-Star Juwan Howard has been named the David and Meredith Kaplan Men’s Basketball Head Coach, becoming the 17th men’s basketball coach in the history of the program.
“We have found someone with high integrity, great character and a coach who has unbelievable knowledge of the game of basketball,” said Manuel. “Juwan has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, a wonderful communicator and a developer of talent. We couldn’t have asked for a better role model for the young men in our program. We are excited to welcome back a member of the family to Ann Arbor.”
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan’s storied basketball program,” said Howard. “I have been very fortunate to be part of a great championship organization in the Miami Heat for the last nine years — three as a player and six as a coach. It was always going to take something incredibly special to for me to leave Miami; however, I know in my heart this is the right place and the right time.
“As a ‘Michigan Man’ I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level. We will continue to develop young men on the court, in the classroom and in the community that our fan base will continue to be proud of.
“I want to sincerely thank Warde Manuel, President Mark Schlissel and all the great people at the University for entrusting me with this opportunity. I cannot wait to get started.
“It feels great to be coming home. Go Blue!”
Howard agreed to a five-year deal, starting at $2 million annually, with a base salary of $400,000.
Howard returns to Ann Arbor for his first collegiate head coaching job after spending his last six years with the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). While an assistant for the last five years (2014-19), Howard worked under Erik Spoelstra and helped the Heat win three division titles (2014, ’16, and ’18) and one Eastern Conference championship (2014). He spent his first year as an assistant coach/player development coach (2013-14) working with the Heat’s big men as well as serving as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Howard served as the head coach of Miami’s 2016 NBA Summer League teams in both Orlando and Las Vegas and also for Team Africa in the NBA Africa Game 2018. During the 2018-19 season, Howard helped in the development of former Wolverine Duncan Robinson, who at the time was a two-way player for the HEAT before being signed after the season.
Prior to beginning his coaching career, Howard had an accomplished 19-year NBA playing career capped off by winning back-to-back NBA championships with the Miami HEAT in 2012 and 2013 while playing with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He was named to the 1995 NBA All-Rookie Second Team and was an All-NBA Third Team and All-Star in 1996.
Chosen with the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets (Wizards), Howard spent seven seasons (1994-2001) with the Wizards before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2001. In 2002, he was traded to Denver, where he spent a season and a half. In 2003, Howard signed with Orlando, where he spent one season with the Magic before being traded to Houston, spending three seasons with the Rockets before making return stints with Dallas and Denver in 2008, Charlotte (2009) and Portland (2010). He closed his career playing three seasons with Miami before retiring in 2013.
In his 19-year career, Howard appeared in 1,208 games with 900 starts while averaging 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. In total, he closed his career with 16,159 points and 7,428 rebounds while adding 2,663 assists, 818 steals and 312 blocks.
Prior to his professional career, Howard spent three years in Ann Arbor from 1991-94. In what is considered the greatest Michigan and college basketball recruiting class of all time, Howard — along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — were dubbed the “Fab Five” and helped lead the Wolverines to back-to-back Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993.
A two-time All-American (1993, ’94), Howard started 97 of his 100 collegiate games missing just two games in his three seasons. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, including a unanimous first-team selection in 1994, Howard was regarded as one of the best defensive big men in the country. In three NCAA Tournament appearances, he was named to two All-Tournament teams, at the 1993 NCAA West Regional and the 1994 NCAA Midwest Regional.
Howard closed his U-M career with 1,500 points (1,526; 15.3 ppg) and 700 rebounds (745; 7.5 rpg), one of just seven Michigan players to reach both marks, along with Rudy Tomjanovich, Bill Buntin, Roy Tarpley, Glen Rice, LaVall Blanchard and DeShawn Sims. He ranks 20th all-time in scoring and 11th in rebounding for the Wolverines.
Despite leaving Michigan early for the NBA Draft, Howard returned and earned his general studies degree from U-M’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts in 1997.