UofM and Wisconsin Coaches Lose their Cool

On February 20, the Wisconsin Badgers hosted the Michigan Wolverines in a Big 10 battle. It ended up being a blowout win for Wisconsin. However, with 11 seconds remaining, Michigan still had a press on. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard called a timeout to help his subs break the press. Calling a timeout near the end of the game bothered UofM coach Juwan Howard. When he walked through the handshake line at the end of the game, Coach Howard did not shake hands with Coach Gard. Instead he said, “I’ll remember that.” Wisconsin Coach Gard grabbed Coach Howard’s arm. Howard responded with a finger to the chest. It got heated real quick. Both coaches were yelling. A few seconds later, Coach Howard threw an open fisted punch. The players got involved. There was a lot of pushing and a few more punches were thrown by players. The announcer accurately described the situation with, “There’s a scrum in Madison.”

Aftermath: Juwan Howard was suspended for the remainder of the regular season. Coach Gard was suspended for one game. They are both now coaching in the NCAA Tournament.

Joe’s Perspective: Things get heated at the end of a game. There are a lot of raw emotions. It’s easy to take something the wrong way and respond. The important point is that your response in that moment can change the rest of your career. There was serious talk about firing Juwan Howard. He is a good coach with a solid program. He has a home at the University of Michigan. He is loved and embraced. And yet, his actions put the Michigan AD in a tough position of deciding whether or not he had to fire his coach. My guess is this decision was tight. My message to you is, don’t put your coach or athletic director in a position where they are forced to make such a crucial decision on you for something you did in the heat of the moment. Be smart & show composure.

Your Turn: What lessons do we learn from this altercation between Michigan and Wisconsin?

Comments 28

  1. always shake the other teams players and coaches hands. you can’t be a sore loser or a brag about winning. you both participated in this event. give them respect as they give to you.

  2. Uhhh i think that it was wrong on both ends because of the lack of sportsmanship! you need to treat others with respect

  3. No matter what happens on the field/court your sportsmanship afterwards shows what kind of person and team you really are. Always treat the other team with respect.

  4. No matter what happens on the field/court your sportsmanship afterwards shows what kind of person and team you really are. Always treat the other team with respect. Both teams are there for the same reason to play the sport you both love.

  5. I think that it was definitely not a good thing to do. These college coaches and players are supposed to be showing sportsmanship. Young players are watching this and they are setting a terrible example.

  6. Both coaches acted unprofessionally and the situation could easily have been avoided if they had kept their thoughts to themselves and just shaken hands.

    1. i learned that even if you loss or something did not go your way you should not act out and get mad and react like the michigan coach did

  7. The lesson from this situation is that you should always respect other players/coaches, and also if someone doesn’t respect you, you shouldn’t get violent.

  8. I believe that both sides were in the wrong but I see why they did what they did. The coaches were standing up for their players and just lost their cool. I feel that both coaches needed to be punished or fined. Also, they are not setting a good example for their players.

  9. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and always respond with love and respect no matter the circumstances or actions that have been previously made

  10. Be a good sport, even if something either doesn’t go your way, or in this case, is misinterpreted. Jamming fingers and throwing punches is not a good way to represent your team, and I personally think both coaches should be punished for not being able to contain themselves.

  11. I appreciate Coach Howard’s passion for the game and his players but I don’t think his actions his actions are justified. I think the lesson to be learned from this situation is to lead by example.

  12. While I believe that the Wisconsin coach didn’t need to call the timeout, the Michigan coach did not need to have his players play press defense when they were getting blown out. That situation is what ultimately lead to the heat confrontation.

  13. Always be a good coach because you are an adult role model for your athletes. And you should always respect one another.

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