Although it may seem like good news for Michigan State basketball to see John Beilein leave Michigan, Spartan fans should miss him.
It’s always good to see your rival go through tough periods in terms of on-court success over the years which is why Michigan fans loved John L. Smith and Bobby Williams so much.
Sure, it’s one thing when coaches of your rival are unlikeable, goofy and outspoken and another when they ooze class with everything they do.
Michigan’s John Beilein took the head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, per reports, and the news was made public on Monday morning.
Michigan State fans should be celebrating the departure of the coach who made the Wolverines relevant again, right? Actually, no.
Despite being the Wolverines’ biggest basketball rivals, the Spartans are going to miss what Beilein did for the yearly matchups between the in-state schools. He made Michigan a force to be reckoned with and it, in turn, made Michigan State even better. The Spartans no longer got to coast through these rivalry games, but they battled it out as it was usually to see who the top dog in the Big Ten was.
Michigan State fans will also miss how Beilein was all class all the time and that’s not something you’re going to see from a rival coach often. If you hate Michigan, you probably had a soft spot for Beilein even if he did steal a few wins from MSU along the way.
No rival coach has ever been more down-to-earth and respectable and that’s something Spartan fans will miss more now that Beilein is gone.
It’s OK to be happy about the Wolverines losing their best coach in decades and a top-five coach in the country, but what he brought to the rivalry and the amount of respect he showed to Michigan State and the game of basketball will be missed.