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Posted on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

Ex-Michigan basketball staffer Patrick Beilein returns to Crisler Arena opposite his father

By Nick Baumgardner

All his life, Patrick Beilein has had one of the brightest basketball resources in the country at an arm's length.

His father, John Beilein.

But, in order to follow in dad's footsteps, Patrick decided he'd need to see the game he loves from a different angle, one outside of his father's reach.

"I'm learning a lot and learning a different side of the game that I think I need to see to help me become a better coach in the future," Patrick said Tuesday. "My dad talks about it all the time, but you're a sponge.

"You just try to absorb everything you can, and eventually, you'll find what you want to do. But you can't be afraid to learn from other people."


Patrick Beilein

A miniature on-court Beilein family reunion will take place Thursday (6:30 p.m., BTN) at Crisler Arena, when son Patrick, now a director of basketball operations at Bradley, sits on the opposite sideline of father, the head coach of the Michigan basketball program.

Though he's not in an official coaching role at Bradley (5-6), he is on the staff. And his main goal will be to beat Michigan (9-2) and his dad.

It'll be strange, weird and unfamiliar.

But it should also be fun.

"It's going to be a little bit different on a personal level, but not just with my dad, but with his assistants and all the guys on the team that I know really well," Patrick said. "It's going to be a lot of fun just to take it in. It's something I'll look back upon and remember in my coaching career, the first time going against my dad."

After becoming a 1,000-point scorer for his father at West Virginia, Patrick Beilein eventually followed him to Michigan, where he spent two seasons on the bench as a graduate assistant from 2008-2010.

From there, Patrick had the opportunity to grab his first true college coaching job last season when he spent the year as an assistant at Dartmouth.

Prior to this season, Beilein left his post at Dartmouth to move into (technically) a non-coaching role at Bradley.

He said at the time he was hoping to get somewhere back toward the midwest, which was true, but also, he's at a point in his career where there's no such thing as too much experience.

"I didn't want to just learn from my dad, and I talked with him about that," Patrick said. "For him, he was in a different situation, having to teach himself so much because he's only ever been a head coach.

"That worked for him, but seeing different views as the game has changed over the years is very important for me."

Already onto the third coaching stop of his young career, the 28-year-old Beilein is currently drawing rave reviews.

"Patrick's just a superstar in the business," Bradley coach Geno Ford said earlier this week on John Beilein's weekly radio show. "He's going to be a head coach really soon."

Though Patrick may have the potential to someday run his own Division I program, as his father has done for nearly 20 years, he says he has another goal to meet before reaching that point.

To return to Ann Arbor again following this week's game, and spend more than just father and son time with his dad.

"I'd love to be back at Michigan one day coaching as an assistant with him in the future, that's my end-goal, to get (to that level)," Patrick said. "And, if that happens, I'd love to be able to bring him ideas that I've learned from some of the other coaches I've worked for.

"And maybe then I'll be able to bring something to the table. My dad knows a lot, but maybe there's one or two things I'll be able to add."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

I understand the younger Beilein's point of view to learn the game from the perspective of more than just one good coach. Most of the best coaches in any sport were mentored by more than just one person, although I hope he does make it back to Ann Arbor some day to stay.