Saddi Washington goes to U of M: Associate head basketball coach now a Wolverine

Sam Schlenner, Sports editor

Meshing with a whirlwind of a Horizon League basketball offseason, Oakland men’s basketball associate head coach Saddi Washington is going to work as an assistant coach for University of Michigan’s John Beilein next season. Also joining him will be former Wright State head coach Billy Donlon, who was fired after the most recent season.

“My family and I are truly blessed and excited to begin this new phase of our lives in Ann Arbor,” Washington said in a U-M press release (click). “Growing up in the state of Michigan, I understand the rich history that has been developed and maintained here at U-M. It is the elite standard of excellence both academically and athletically.”

“Coach Beilein is known throughout the country as an elite coach and tactician, so I look forward to learning under his tutelage and further developing my craft as a coach and builder of young men,” Washington added.

The move is a part of a grand switcheroo that leaves former U-M assistant coaches Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan head coaches of Detroit and Milwaukee, respectively.

“Saddi and I have known each other since his days at Western Michigan when I coached against them,” Beilein said in the news release. “We have also talked a lot of basketball in my nine years here at Michigan. Saddi is an outstanding teacher of the game, and I love that he can coach multiple positions. He has established great relationships as a recruiter both in and out of the state of Michigan. His poise and presence remind me of LaVall, and I know he will be a great asset to our program.”

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe is now left without Kay Felder, Percy Gibson, Max Hooper, Femi Olujobi (who transferred) and the 10-year tenured Washington. But he seems to wish nothing but good things for his long-time comrade.

“I cannot tell you how happy I am for Saddi,” he said in the news release. “He has given me 10 of the best years of Oakland basketball. He has been an integral part of what we’ve been able to accomplish over that time. He will really be missed, but once again I cannot tell you how happy I am for him to be coaching at one of the finest institutions in the country.”