The University Record, March 19, 2001

Search launched for basketball coach

Editor’s Note: The following statement was released by Athletic Director Bill Martin on March 13.


Ellerbe
“Sunday [March 12] afternoon during a meeting in my office, I asked Brian Ellerbe to step down as head coach of the University of Michigan men’s basketball team. This has been an extremely difficult decision, and one I made only after careful assessment of the entire program.

“Brian took over this team in the midst of some trying times, and we all realize the challenges he has faced. I considered this during my evaluation of the team. In the end, my decision was based on the fact that I did not see the improvement in the program over the past four years that I hoped for and that I believe is possible. I believe it is in the best interests of our student-athletes and the basketball program as a whole to have new leadership at this time.

“Despite this painful decision, I am very grateful to Brian for all the hard work he has invested in the team over the past four years. He has had a tough challenge, particularly under the intense public scrutiny that comes with being a Michigan coach. He is an outstanding person and has handled these pressures with grace and dignity. I am confident that Brian will find a coaching environment that fits his strengths and within which he can be successful.

“I will begin a search for a new head coach of the University of Michigan basketball team immediately. I will create a small advisory committee composed of former and current players and U-M staff to help me evaluate potential candidates. I want all the student-athletes on the team to know that we want each and every one of them to continue both their athletic and academic careers here at Michigan.”