Michigan basketball coach hits Wisconsin coach in head after Michigan loss

Scuffle began after heated talk between head coaches in handshake line

Head coach Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines is seen during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on January 23, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Michael Hickey, 2022 Getty Images)

MADISON, Wisc.Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard struck a Wisconsin coach in the head during the handshake line after his team’s loss to the Badgers.

Howard appeared to be unhappy that Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard called a timeout in the final minute of the game despite holding a double-digit lead. Michigan’s bench players and starting point guard DeVante’ Jones were using a full-court press against the Badgers.

Then, after the final buzzer, Howard appeared to hesitate before getting into the handshake line. He tried to pass Gard in the line without speaking to him, but Gard held Howard back, video shows.

Howard and Gard exchanged words, and the situation escalated. Howard can be seen on video reaching past Gard and hitting a Badgers’ assistant coach on the top of the head.

Several players got involved in a scuffle afterwards, including Michigan’s Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams.

Michigan basketball lost the game 77-63 to fall to 14-11 on the season.

The Big Ten said it planned to “take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review.”

During his postgame news conference, Howard said he didn’t like Wisconsin calling for a timeout with 15 seconds left and the Badgers leading by 15.

“I thought it was not necessary at the moment, especially being a large lead,” Howard said. “Someone touched me, and I think it was very uncalled for, for them to touch me, as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another,” Howard said. “That’s what escalated it.”

Gard said he called the timeout because his reserves were in the game and only had four seconds to get the ball past midcourt. A timeout gives them 10 seconds.

“I was not going to put them in position, where the ball had already gotten knocked out of bounds, to have to break a press in four seconds,” Gard said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.