John Beilein, head coach of the Cleveland Cavs and former Canisius College basketball coach was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Beilein is the only coach in the program’s 30-year MAAC history to take the Blue and Gold to multiple MAAC Championship Game appearances. He was the Griffs head coach from 1992-1997 and 89 career wins as the Griffs’ bench boss ranks fifth all-time in program history but the wins didn’t come easy at the start.
Canisius finished with a 10-18 record during Beilein’s first season and he says that’s a season that molded him into the coach he is to this day.
“You learn some things in adversity that you don’t learn in success,” Beilein said prior to his induction on Tuesday.
“We played St. Bonaventure down in the auditorium and I think it might have been 21-2 to start. Jim Baron is brand new at Bonnie and I’m new and here’s the clash of the two renaissances and I think it was 21-2 to start, it wasn’t even close, there was a lot of humility. When you get pruned the way we got pruned that first year you grow back stronger.”
Beilein, who was named the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers on May 14, served as the head coach of the Canisius men’s basketball program from 1992-97.