Jon Sanderson Steps Down: Michigan’s Veteran Strength Coach Departs After Agreement

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Longtime strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson has stepped down from his role with the Michigan men’s basketball team after 15 years with the club. 

The decision, announced on Friday, follows a tumultuous period that saw Sanderson’s role with the team significantly diminished.

Sanderson’s departure comes two months after he ceased working directly with the team, a move that raised eyebrows among fans and observers. 

The specifics surrounding his exit were shrouded in mystery until now, with reports indicating that Sanderson and the university have reached a settlement, complete with a non-disclosure clause.

The catalyst for Sanderson’s reduced involvement with the men’s basketball team can be traced back to a confrontation with Michigan head coach Juwan Howard nearly three months ago. 

Jon Sanderson’s Resignation Signals Uncertainty

jon-sanderson-steps-down-michigan's-veteran-strength-coach-departs-after-agreement
Longtime strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson has stepped down from his role with the Michigan men’s basketball team after 15 years with the club.

Documents obtained by The Athletic shed light on the incident, revealing tensions stemming from an argument between an athletic trainer and senior guard Jace Howard, Juwan’s son. Jace, who had been sidelined with a stress fracture, questioned the training staff’s decision-making regarding his clearance to play.

Despite the fallout from the altercation, Juwan Howard faced no disciplinary action from the university following an HR review in mid-December. Both Howard and his son, Jace, downplayed the incident as a misunderstanding, with Juwan referring reporters to a statement  from athletic director Warde Manuel.

Sanderson, initially hired in 2009 by former head coach John Beilein and retained by Howard when he assumed the role in 2019, found himself increasingly distanced from the men’s basketball program in recent months.

As Michigan’s men’s basketball team struggles on the court, currently sitting at 8-21 with a string of losses, Jon Sanderson’s resignation marks the end of an era for the program. With the team on the brink of a dubious school record for losses, the road ahead remains uncertain for both the coaching staff and players alike.

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