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Michigan’s trip to Final Four a victory for coach John Beilein and traditionalists

This is a great little article about a great and humble man, Coach John Beilein.

by Dan Wetzel

John Beilein was climbing a ladder to go clip a net, climbing a ladder to the Final Four, making a climb a long, long time coming. Off to the side, surrounded by kids and grandkids, Kathleen Beilein looked up and began dabbing her eyes.

Michigan coach John Beilein cuts down the net after the Wolverines won the South Regional. (Photo AP)

Michigan coach John Beilein cuts down the net after the Wolverines won the South Regional. (Photo AP)

Thirty-five years as a head coach, so many of them grinding it out in little schools in western and central New York, so far from the glamor of this – the middle of Jerry Jones’ billion-dollar football palace – that it’s a stretch to call it the same sport.

Michigan 79, Florida 59, and, yes, the Beileins weren’t at Erie Community College in Buffalo anymore.

“It’s almost like a dream come true,” Kathleen said. “I am almost speechless.”

John Beilein is a lifer, a grinder, a no-frills basketball teacher. He’s a coach’s coach and a good man’s good man. He grew up the eighth of nine kids in little Burt, N.Y., near Niagara Falls, the son of a mill worker and an apple farmer, the nephew of basketball coaches.

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