Former WSU head coach heads to NCAA Tournament with Michigan Wolverines
INDIANAPOLIS (WKEF/WRGT) – Former Wright State Head Coach Billy Donlon is hitting the NCAA Tournament after missing out on it last season with the Raiders, but he’s there as an assistant at Michigan.
The coach was let go after his team didn’t make it into the tournament in 2016, and his first season so far with the Wolverines has been tremendous.
“The best part of being an assistant is the interaction you can have with the players,” Donlon said. “There is just certain interactions as a head coach that you just can’t have that you can as an assistant.”
Donlon said he doesn’t have anything against the Raiders, and admitted he’s been following them throughout the season and trying to keep tabs on his former players.
“When other people get to make decisions on your life that you can’t control, then you have to move on from them,” Donlon said. “As I said, and I mean this, I spend 10 years there. You guys all know me; I love that place. I think it’s one of the best places in the world.”
Just a week before heading to the tournament, Donlon and the Wolverines had a scare when their plane crashed while trying to take off to head to the Big 10 Tournament, but thankfully no one was injured in the incident.
“It happens really quick,” Donlon said. “They’re yelling at you, ‘Head down, stay down,’ and you’re just trying to follow instructions. And you know, we never really got off the ground. It’s just, you know, it’s going to stop on its own or something else is going to stop it.”
As his team continues to prepare for the tournament, the former head coach said he isn’t in any hurry to try and fill that role again,
“I really do try to live in the moment,” Donlon said. “Would I love another opportunity? Of course I would. But if someone said I get to be the assistant at Michigan or work with John Boelein, Jeff Myer and Scotty Washington for the rest of my career, I would love that. I mean, I have had a great year. We are Big 10 champions. That’s pretty good. Played in Madison Square Garden. Next year we’re going to Maui, hopefully I’m back. I’m trying hard not to get fired two years in a row.”
Donlon hasn’t changed since his tenure at Wright State, and shouldn’t have to worry about his job at the end of the season. For now, Michigan’s attention is on their first round game against Oklahoma State.