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Sack Lloyd Carr / NCAA Tournament Talk / Jackson Returns as Part of Beilein's Staff
Author Message
The Michigan Man 
Member
# Posted: 9 Apr 2007 21:46 Edited by: The Michigan Man


Looks like Beilein is bringing back a local. This will definitely help with the in-state recruiting.
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By Sam Webb
Managing Editor, scout.com
Posted Apr 9, 2007

After coaching on Tommy Amaker's staff for the past two years, Mike Jackson left Michigan to take an assistants job under Tim Jankovich at Illinois State. John Beilein didn't take long in identifying Jackson as the man he was looking for when it came to finding a strong assistant that could also add a local flavor to his staff. Now Jackson is on his way back to Ann Arbor to do just that.

When Mike Jackson received the call from new Michigan basketball coach John Beilein early last Thursday inquiring about his interest in returning to Ann Arbor, shock was the only emotion he could muster.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "I had never given any thought to going back to Michigan. I thought that part of my life was over. I was committed to Illinois State and had every intention of sticking around there."

Once the idea of going back home crept into his mind, Jackson had real a dilemma on his hands. Sure he had the chance to make things easy on his family while also working in an environment he was familiar with. However, that would mean backing out on a promise he gave to a man he has a great deal of respect and admiration for. In the end, it was that man that made deciding what to do a great deal easier for Jackson.

"While it may not appear so on the surface, this is a story with a happy ending," Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich said in a prepared statement. "When I hired Mike, my only concern was the fact that his family would not be able to come here for at least a year, as they have a child with special needs. Despite the new staff at Michigan offering Mike to come back, he told me that he would honor his commitment to Illinois State. But I didn't feel it was in the best interest of Mike and his family for him to stay at ISU. His offer to stay shows me what kind of person Mike is, and that I originally hired the right person. Basketball is important to all of us, but keeping family together needs to be a priority. I wish Mike nothing but the best."

"It was a very difficult situation for me to leave Illinois State," followed Jackson in the statement. "Tim (Jankovich) was the deciding factor in my accepting the position back at Michigan. He told me that he would not feel right working with me every day knowing that I could be back in Ann Arbor with my family. I am very appreciative of Tim's kindness and understanding, and I hope that all Illinois State supporters can understand my position, and accept my apologies. I was proud to be a Redbird -- if only for a short time."

When asked to elaborate on the process a little bit more with GoBlueWolverine, Jackson shed light on just how tough the decision was.

"Obviously I had given my word that I was going to be at Illinois State," Jackson said. "That's big to me. When I talked to Coach Beilein and he offered me a job, I went back to Coach Jankovich and told him that I had an opportunity to go back to Michigan. I told him that I was still going to be a man of my word and stay if that's what he wanted me to do. If it were anywhere else other than Michigan, I probably wouldn't have looked at it seriously. But I had to really consider this because of how it would benefit my family. They weren't going to be able to move anytime soon, so we were going to be apart for an extended period of time and that was going to make things tough on all of us. Coach Jankovich understood that. He said, 'Mike, there's no way I could feel good about telling you to stay here with you having an opportunity to go back there and be home with your family. He said, 'I'm giving you my wholehearted blessing to go back.' It really meant a lot to hear him say that because I was going back and forth about it. It was really tearing me up."

Now as he embarks upon his second stint as a Michigan assistant, Jackson is extremely excited about what the future holds. In his initial conversations with his new boss, he learned that he won't be pigeon-holed into certain duties. He will be counted on to do just as much as he ever has, if not more.

"Coach Beilein made it very clear that he wants teachers on his staff," Jackson said. "I loved that he said that because a lot of guys sometime want to lock you into certain roles. Right away he wanted to make sure that I understood that he wanted somebody that could coach and teach. That's what he's big on. Obviously as we talked more I just got a better vibe about how good of a person he is and how down to earth he is. He is just regular guy. He likes coaching basketball and likes being around the guys. He wants well-rounded coaches around him. We talked about my desire to one day be a head coach and he was all for that. He was great. He has been great to me so far."

Beilein hasn't only been great during those conversations. He also made a favorable impression when the topic of monetary compensation came up. When Jackson accepted the position at Illinois State, he did so for a sum greater than what he was being paid for the same role at Michigan. When asked if Beilein exceeded Illinois State's offer, Jackson didn't hesitate with the answer.

"Absolutely," he said. "There's no question about it!"

With all of the particulars now out the way, Jackson immediately went back to work trying to re-secure the recruiting class he helped sign under the previous regime.

"I've definitely already started," he said. "I just called all of the guys that we have coming in and let them know that I was coming back. It hasn't really gone much further than that right now."

BlueBobcat 
Member
# Posted: 9 Apr 2007 21:49


"While it may not appear so on the surface, this is a story with a happy ending," Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich said in a prepared statement. "When I hired Mike, my only concern was the fact that his family would not be able to come here for at least a year, as they have a child with special needs. Despite the new staff at Michigan offering Mike to come back, he told me that he would honor his commitment to Illinois State. But I didn't feel it was in the best interest of Mike and his family for him to stay at ISU. His offer to stay shows me what kind of person Mike is, and that I originally hired the right person. Basketball is important to all of us, but keeping family together needs to be a priority. I wish Mike nothing but the best."

This is just a PHENOMINAL quote from the ISU coach. Just goes to show some coaches still get it.

The Michigan Man 
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2007 06:28


More on the topic from the Freep. Looks like the returning players were campaigning for Jackson's return.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Beilein hires Amaker assistant
April 10, 2007

New Michigan coach John Beilein's first hire may be his most important.

Beilein rehired Mike Jackson, an assistant coach from Tommy Amaker's staff who had accepted a position at Illinois State two weeks ago.

"It was very hard to do from the standpoint (that) I like coach (Tim) Jankovich and I liked Illinois State," said Jackson, who was called by Beilein over the weekend and made it official Sunday night. "He was gracious in how he handled everything. I like to be a man of my word. This is maybe the only situation I would have wanted to go back to at home, with my family and with a great coach in coach Beilein. At the end of the day, Coach Jankovich was like, 'Mike, you've got to do that.' "

Jackson, whose family planned to stay in Michigan for the next year regardless, was the staff's most effective recruiter during his two years in Ann Arbor and was a popular commodity after Tommy Amaker and his staff were fired. The Detroit Mercy grad joined the Michigan staff two years ago after stints at Dayton and Toledo.

Jackson said when he took the Illinois State job that he needed something secure (at the time, Michigan had not hired a new coach).

But once recruits Corperryale Harris and Alex Legion wavered on their signed letters-of-intent and the current Wolverines started campaigning for Jackson, a deal for the assistant seemed clear.

"You can't be at Michigan and not have a local guy, a Michigan guy on your staff," said Jackson, who also got Amaker's blessing to take the job.

Legion's mother, Annette Williams, said Monday that Beilein told her in their meeting last week that Jackson was returning, and she said that was a major factor for her son, who is still considering whether to attend U-M.

"I am thrilled to have Mike Jackson rejoin the Michigan Basketball staff," Beilein said in a news release. "I did a lot of research in the days since I was hired and there is no doubt Mike is a tremendous fit for the future of this program."

 

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