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Jeff Van Gundy

Michigan's John Beilein credits former Baltimore basketball coach Paul Baker with helping him learn his craft

Michigan's John Beilein credits former Baltimore basketball coach Paul Baker with helping him learn his craft

There were two early influences in the coaching career of Michigan’s John Beilein.

One was his uncle, Tommy Niland Jr., who turned the basketball program he started at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., over to the up-and-coming coach at Nazareth College in nearby Rochester.

Niland reportedly failed to tell anyone Beilein was his nephew.

The other coach who made an impact on Beilein was well-known in Baltimore before dying in 2013.

His name was Paul Baker, who after coaching at Towson Catholic High and the University of Baltimore trekked out to Wheeling College in West Virginia (now Wheeling Jesuit University) for the start of the 1971-72 season.

It was...

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