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Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

Neighbors give Michigan coach John Beilein proper homecoming after runner-up finish

By Pete Cunningham


The neighbors of Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein lined his street with decorations to welcome him home after the team's run to the national championship game.

Melanie Maxwell |

Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein didn’t get to come home from the Final Four in Atlanta to a championship parade, but his neighbors made sure his welcome home was special nonetheless.

Lining Beiliein’s Ann Arbor neighborhood on Tuesday were trees wrapped in maize and blue plastic table cloths, bushes with streamers across the top and porches with Block ‘M’ flags.

When Beilein came home from the team’s official reception at the Crisler Center, his neighbors gave him their version. About a dozen neighbors lined the street, including some neighborhood children as well.

“When we were watching we were like we gotta do something. Everybody got into it. Everybody on the whole block,” said Janet Yaman, one of Beilein’s neighbors. “They’re just a wonderful family, so likeable and so approachable.”

Albeit more modest than the reception at Crisler, or what the championship parade planned for the team in the event of a win on Monday would have been, Yaman said Beilein and his wife Kathleen seemed appreciative of the gesture.

“Kathleen said that when they made that turn around the corner she said, ‘John look!’ and saw everybody,” Yaman said. “They were so stunned, they really were.”

Yaman said that everyone in the neighborhood was happy to do their part.


A mailbox on John Beilein's block was decorated in order to greet the Michigan basketball coach's return from the Final Four.

Melanie Maxwell |

“I just said 'how can I help?” said Joe Harris, who had the trees wrapped with maize and blue plastic and Michigan balloons on his mailbox. “It was really a pleasure doing…and the good news was it wasn’t raining.”

Harris hadn’t hung his newly purchased his Block ‘M’ flag on his porch as of Thursday, but began to set it out.

“I’m a little late on this,” said Harris, and a quick glance down the street revealed his porch was one of the few without a flag on the block.

When the team secured its spot in the championship game, one of Beilein’s neighbors, Laura (who asked for her last name not to be used to protect the Beileins’ privacy) got on the phone and began to organize the welcoming party.

“He’s a wonderful neighbor and a wonderful guy and we were just so proud of him and proud of the effort of the whole team and we thought we needed to give him a proper homecoming,” said Laura.

It's no surprise that Laura was one of the driving forces behind organizing the homecoming. A Michigan alumnus who graduated in 1990 -- a year after Michigan's last national championship -- she knows a thing or two about giving a proper greeting after a championship run.

“I have to say both (NCAA finals runs) were exciting, but being a student in 1989 was really fun,” Laura said. “Just being a neighbor of John and Kathleen they’re wonderful people, real down-to-earth, nice people, and we just wanted to say, 'great job.'”

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

This is an awesome neighborly act. Beilein's gotta be feeling the love after these past several days. { Thanks Pete, for the sports-related story that I enjoy reading! :) }


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Yes this a much better feel good story than U of M students dumping trash all over campus after the game.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

" of Beilein's neighbors, Laura (who asked for her last name not to be used to protect the Beileins' privacy..." Disclaimer: I don't care where the Beilens live anymore than they care where I live. But if I have a "hobby" its finding random stuff on the Internet. This one took me about 2 1/2 minutes. I will add...nice job coach. I wish you continued success in a tough business.

Chester Drawers

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

Laura must never have looked at the city's website.

Honest Abe

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:47 a.m.

Coach Beilein must love the lavish life! I use to live a few doors down and was paying over $25K in yearly property taxes alone!


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Very cool and 2nd place deserves to be celebrated! Everyone should hold their heads high and be proud! Congrats


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

Is Rich Rod the only basketball or football coach to not live in Ann Arbor since the Don Canham era? I thought it was common practice to live in the Ann Arbor Hills neighborhood when you get one of those jobs.

Kyle Austin

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

Dave Brandon mentioned during a speech of his I covered last year that Hoke was building a house in the area. Didn't mention where, though, of course


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

Maybe he was think of his kids. Saline has a better schools


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

I think the softball coach and the former woman's basketball coach were in saline also.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

Hoke lives in Saline, as he did during his stint as an assistant coach.

Section Six

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

RichRod had young children, and his son was an aspiring quarterback if memory serves me correctly. I'd pick Saline, too.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Where does Brady Hoke live? Do you know if he lives in AA proper?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

how awesome!!!