Beilein's Michigan team is talented and unselfish, young but coachable. Point guard Trey Burke - the AP's national player of the year - fits the coach's system beautifully with his smooth combination of quickness and savvy.
Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. add extra athleticism, and Beilein allows them to be creative.
"You cannot get stale when you're fighting for your life in all those situations I was in. Each opportunity that we embraced, the program was at a low, or one of its lower points," Beilein said. "When you're in survival mode, you find ways to improvise, to get better."
Discipline is still important to Beilein, both on and off the court, but this year's Wolverines can freelance a bit and push the pace in transition.
"You have to gain trust from your coaching staff," Hardaway said. "We've gained the trust from him."
Less than two weeks ago, Michigan faced its first major test of this NCAA tournament when the Wolverines took on Virginia Commonwealth and its relentless press. In a fascinating contrast of styles, Michigan picked the Rams apart. It was a triumph of preparation and poise.
That victory put the Wolverines in the round of 16 for the first time since 1994, and Beilein took some time that weekend to enjoy the moment with family.
His description of the celebration quickly became a punch line.
"I think we had subs that day, so it was crazy," he said with a laugh. "The whole thing was really a knock-down, drag-out party."
That's apparently what passes for wild behavior from Beilein. Two wins later, the Wolverines are in the Final Four, and their basketball smarts will be tested again Saturday by Syracuse's zone defense.
Win that game and another after it, and Michigan will have its first national championship since 1989. If that happens, Beilein will surely be asked again to reflect - and chances are he'll look back on those days at Nazareth, Canisius, Richmond and all his other stops.
This well-traveled coach learned some new lessons every step of the way.
"I'm sort of always thinking about, 'What can we do right now to be a better team? What can I do to be a better coach? A better father? A better teacher?'" Beilein said. "Always with the idea that if you do all those things, anything is possible in your life."