LEWISTON, N.Y. (AP) — Patrick Beilein cites personal reasons for abruptly stepping down as Niagara University men’s basketball coach two weeks before the start of his first season.
Beilein made the announcement in a statement released by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school on Thursday. The 36-year-old is the son of longtime basketball coach John Beilein, who left Michigan to take over the Cleveland Cavaliers this year.
Former Duke star Greg Paulus will take over as coach. He was hired to Beilein’s staff as an assistant and recruiting coordinator in May.
Beilein had back surgery in September and says he made the decision to leave his dream job with “heavy regret.” He adds he must instead provide “singular focus” to deal with what he called “these issues, so that I can become the man that I strive to be.”
He was hired in March after spending four seasons at Division II Le Moyne.
The Purple Eagles open the season at Drexel on Nov. 8.