BUFFALO, N.Y. — John Beilein is taking over as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers this season and the focus is very much on the future.
Tuesday night he was in a spotlight that was shining on his past.
Canisuis College inducted Beilein into the school's Hall of Fame as part of it's inaugural Basketball Tip-off celebration.
Beilein, a native Western New Yorker from Burt, says Canisius helped pave the way for his future success.
"When I think back of Canisius, my mind always goes to not any of the good years we had... It's 10-18 the first year. How painful that was, but how I grew as a coach. Richmond, West Virginia, Michigan, now Cleveland, very similar situations... where they had a really bad year the year before."
Beilein has a track record of turning programs around. He coached at Canisius from 1992-1997. He led the Griffs to MAAC conference championships in both the regular and postseason. He also led the Griffs to the semifinals of the NIT in 1995, and the NCAA Tournament in 1996.
He says he's very grateful to be honored at Canisus, the school that took a chance on him bringing him in from Divison II LeMoyne.
"Here's a Division Two guy at LeMoyne and they're going to take a chance on him. Patrick (his son) was a Division Two guy at LeMoyne, wait a minute he played four years at West Virginia. He really was a good player and he knew that. I bought a ticket to every Division One game I ever went to. This does mean a lot to be in this situation. The Hall of Fame thing is tremendous."
Beilein is now taking on the challenge of coaching an NBA team for the first time after 41-years as a collegiate head coach.