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John Beilein to be inducted into Canisius Sports Hall of Fame

John Beilein, who arguably is the most successful men’s basketball coach in Canisius history, will be formally inducted into the college’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural Canisius Basketball Tip-Off Reception in September.

Beilein, the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, will be honored on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Montante Cultural Center on the Canisius campus.

At Canisius from 1992-97, Beilein’s teams posted a record of 89-72, including a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season championship in 1994 and MAAC conference tournament title in 1996. He led the Golden Griffins to three postseason appearances, including the 1996 NCAA Tournament.

His .589 career winning percentage is tops among Canisius coaches who have served for 100 games or more and he is the only Canisius coach to direct the team to MAAC titles.

Five of his former players have been inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame.

Before Canisius, Beilein coached at Erie Community College, Nazareth and Le Moyne. After Canisius, he enjoyed success at Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan, leading the Wolverines to two national championship game appearances (2013 and 2018).

In his 41 years as a college head coach, Beilein compiled a career record of 829-468 (.639), recorded 20-plus win seasons on 23 occasions and finished with a winning record in 35 of those campaigns.

Beilein has 20 career postseason appearances — 13 in the NCAA Division I Tournament, six in the NIT and one in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Beilein played four seasons (1971-75) at Wheeling College, (now Wheeling Jesuit University). He is a member of that school’s Hall of Fame. Beilein received a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling before earning a master’s degree in education from Niagara in 1981.

A native of Burt, Beilein and his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, have four children — daughter, Seana (Hendricks) and three sons, Patrick, Mark and Andrew and four grandchildren. Patrick recently was named head basketball coach at Niagara after leading Le Moyne men’s teams for four seasons.

The Canisius Basketball Tip-Off event will start with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and programming, which will begin at 7 p.m. The cost of a ticket is $100, and tickets will go on sale online through the Canisius Office of Alumni Engagement website on Aug. 1. All proceeds will support the Canisius Blue & Gold Fund.

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