Juwan Howard named USBWA Coach of the Year

Howard Tabbed as Henry Iba National Coach of the Year by USBWA


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) announced today (Friday, March 19) that University of Michigan David and Meredith Kaplan Men’s Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard was named the recipient of the 2021 Henry Iba Award for the national coach of the year.

The honor makes Howard the fifth U-M coach to receive national coach of the year honors as he joins Dave Strack (1965), Johnny Orr (1976, '77), Bill Frieder (1985) and his former coach, Steve Fisher (1992). Orr is Michigan’s only previous Henry Iba Award winner in the 1975-76 season.

This is the second national accolade for Howard as he was named the Sporting News National Coach of the Year. He is a finalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year, Jim Phelan Award for National Coach of the Year, and the Ben Jobe Award for the top Division I minority coach.

In addition to his national recognitions, Howard was named the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year by the coaches and media, as well as by the Associated Press. He was also the USBWA’s District V Coach of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 7 Coach of the Year.

This season, Howard has guided his Wolverines to a 20-4 record and a 14-3 Big Ten mark, helping the Maize and Blue claim the conference regular-season title (by winning percentage). U-M earned the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the second time before losing 68-67 to Ohio State in the semifinal round. On Selection Sunday, Howard’s Wolverines were named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA East Region – the program’s third No. 1 seed in history, joining 1985 and 1993* (vacated).

Michigan was able to get out of the gates early in 2020-21 as the Wolverines started 11-0 and quickly jumped into the nation’s top 10. Howard’s 39 wins in his first two seasons make him the winningest Michigan coach through two seasons, passing Fisher (37).

The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary coaching great at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) who won two NCAA championships and two gold medals and one silver as coach of the U.S. Olympic teams.

Other finalists for the honor included Mark Few (Gonzaga), Scott Drew (Baylor) and Nate Oats (Alabama).

Michigan will play No. 16 seed Texas in the NCAA Tournament first round Saturday (March 20) inside Purdue’s Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and will be televised by CBS.


Extremely deserving! Looking forward to these posts becoming increasingly mundane as he piles up more awards and honors throughout his career.


I’m so happy for Juwan and his family. The Michigan alumni, students, and student athletes and fans are blessed to have him represent us/them. It has been a rough year for him personally and hope the awards gives him some measure of happiness.


Is this the premier award of this kind, or is there more COY hardware out awaiting decisions?

He may not get as many in the future as expectations for Michigan will be high. Beilein had that curse. But great that he is getting the recognition now!


I was thinking about this earlier today… it really will take dominant/special seasons for him to ever win the award again. We are going to enter the world of being overvalued instead of undervalued in preseasons moving forward.

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I prefer highly ranked but properly valued, but I definitely get what you guys mean.


Touché sir, that’s how I should have phrased it :crossed_fingers:

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Are we? Never really changed for Beilein even though he proved it wrong so frequently.

You’re right on that for sure! I think the impact of the top recruiting class (and then top-notch recruiting in future years) will likely have us ranked fairly highly moving forward. Juwan is bringing some national clout that JB for whatever reason didn’t generate. Just my opinion of how we’ll be looked at moving forward.

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