Phil Martelli, let go as St. Joseph’s basketball coach in March after being Hawks head coach since 1995, may have an entirely new angle on the game. According to several sources, Martelli has a firm offer from Michigan to serve as top assistant to new Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard.
Howard, a former Michigan Fab Five great, had been a Miami Heat assistant with no college coaching experience, so it makes sense for him to have an experienced hand next to him as he takes over for John Beilein, who moved on to the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers.
If he takes the job, Martelli would be the second Philadelphia head coach to be let go and then take a Big Ten assistant job, following Bruiser Flint, the former Drexel coach now at Indiana.
Martelli did not respond Wednesday night to a request for comment.
“I do have the juice,’’ Martelli, who turns 65 in August, said the day after he had been let go. “I do want to coach again. I won’t let it scar me.”
He coached St. Joe’s to seven NCAA tournaments in his 24 seasons in charge on Hawk Hill, the pinnacle being 2004 when the Hawks finished the regular season undefeated and reached the NCAA Elite Eight, falling a jump shot short of the Final Four. His tenure ended this season after St. Joe’s finished 14-19.