Michigan coach apologetic after loss following tirade

Updated: March 2, 2008, 5:25 PM ET
Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Kevin Borseth was a changed man Sunday.

Three days after the Michigan coach drew national attention for a postgame tirade, he faced the media in a much different mood.

Borseth's Rant

Michigan coach Kevin Borseth's postgame tirade has become the stuff of Internet legend. But in the national rush to judgment, the reputation of one of the game's good coaches has been unduly tarnished. Graham Hayes

See Borseth's Thursday news conference here: UMHoops.com

"I want to sincerely apologize for what happened on Thursday," a subdued Borseth said after his Wolverines lost 63-48 to Minnesota. "I was frustrated after that game, but I am more frustrated at the way I reacted."

While Borseth's tirade at a postgame news conference Thursday focused on offensive rebounding, things actually got worse on Sunday. The Wolverines managed only one offensive rebound in the first half.

He said he didn't feel that was a big factor in Sunday's loss, though, choosing to focus on Minnesota's 11-0 run to start the second half.

"I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards," he said. "We just couldn't hit a shot in the first few minutes after halftime."

The game finished Michigan's regular season, and Borseth will go to the Big Ten tournament hoping that Thursday's anger won't overshadow anything his team does in Indianapolis.

"I hope that we can put this behind us and move on to the postseason," he said.

Despite his tirade, Borseth has turned around Michigan in his first season after building Wisconsin-Green Bay into a perennial winner. The Wolverines were 10-20 last season and hadn't had a winning season since 2001-02.

In his nine years at Wisconsin-Green Bay the Phoenix lost a total of 13 conference games and won at least a share of nine straight conference titles. They reached the NCAA tournament seven times.

Thursday's outburst came after Michigan blew a 20-point lead in the final 15 minutes of a 69-67 loss to Wisconsin. Borseth started his news conference by slamming his fist on the podium, then delivered an angry monologue that focused on his team's lack of success on the offensive glass.

"I'm damn sick and tired of getting outrebounded," Borseth said at the beginning of his five-minute rant. "The first time in the second half that we blocked anyone out, we got called for a foul, and when we finally grab an offensive rebound, we get called for over the back. Either we don't block out very well, or we don't get any calls."

Borseth was clearly upset with Thursday's officiating, but didn't spare his players, either.

"It's so frustrating," he said, tearing off his glasses. "You have no idea how frustrating it is to play a half of basketball like we did, and then come back in the second half and totally, totally, totally, totally, totally lay an egg."

The tirade was shown on the Big Ten Network and rapidly spread via ESPN, the Internet and sports-talk radio, bringing a great deal of publicity to a program usually lost in the shadows of Michigan's football and men's basketball teams.

That's why he started Sunday's news conference with a detailed apology. He started by apologizing to his players and the university, and concluded by apologizing to "everyone who had to see that."

"I didn't represent the University of Michigan in the way I should have," he said.

Borseth's players were happy to stick up for their coach.

"I support Coach Borseth 100 percent," said senior guard Janelle Cooper. "I heard what happened, and I turned my phone off, because I knew everyone would want to talk to me about it, and I didn't want to deal with it. We love Coach, and we're behind him all the way."

Michigan's other senior starter, guard Krista Clement, said she hadn't heard much from her friends and family.

"I don't think they have a lot of TV access in the Upper Peninsula," joked the St. Ignace native. "I'm not sure anyone saw it."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press