Juwan Howard was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Michigan men’s basketball program on Thursday. The former Wolverines star was overcome by emotion as he stepped to the podium.
Howard, who was a member of Michigan’s famed Fab Five squad, dabbed away tears, had to turn around to compose himself and was unable to even speak for a time as he soaked in the moment.
“Tears of joy,” he said.
After composing himself, Howard shared how deeply he cares about the university, and the basketball program he now heads.
“I said I wasn’t going to cry. I guess that never happens when you’re excited about something so special to you, that means so much. Last time I had a press conference in this building was 1994. I declared that I was going to go to the NBA. Felt like I was letting down my teammates because I didn’t do what I came here to do. And that was to bring a championship to this university — a university that I care so much about. I guess you can see that now, huh? Now let’s fast-forward 25 years later. I’m back.”
Howard now has the tall task of following in the footsteps of a veritable giant — John Beilein, who is now the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.