Michigan hires Beilein as coach

West Virginia coach John Beilein watches his team during the NCAA basketball tournament regional semifinal against Texas on March 23, 2006. John Bazemore, AP

AP

West Virginia coach John Beilein watches his team during the NCAA basketball tournament regional semifinal against Texas on March 23, 2006. John Bazemore, AP

By The Associated Press

Michigan hired John Beilein to coach its men’s basketball team, a week after he led West Virginia to the NIT championship.

Beilein told his players of the decision Tuesday at a team meeting in Morgantown, W.V.

“It was just the right thing for me to do at this time,” Beilein said outside the WVU Coliseum. “There’s never a good time to leave.”

Beilein, who took a downtrodden program to two NCAA tournaments in five seasons, takes over a Michigan team that hasn’t made the NCAAs since 1998.

Beilein’s West Virginia teams made deep runs in the NCAA tournament the previous two seasons, and the Mountaineers beat Clemson 78-73 for the NIT title last week.