Tom Izzo

Head Basketball Coach at MSU
Tom Izzo
  • 19 straight NCAA tournament appearances, the fourth-longest streak for any coach in tournament history
  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
  • One of the country’s top recruiters who shares teamwork lessons integral to achieving success

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Tom Izzo is eighth-year head coach of Michigan State University's basketball team, and winner of a NCAA National Championship, four regular season Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten Tournament titles, three Final Four appearances and three National Coach of the Year awards. With a career record of 167 65, it's easy to see that Izzo knows how to win, but he also knows how to win the right way. In his seven full years directing the Spartan program, 80 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree.

In just seven seasons, Izzo has returned Michigan State to a place of national prominence, placed his name in the NCAA record books and become a leader among college basketball coaches. Now in his 20th season as a member of the Michigan State coaching staff, Tom Izzo has been with the Spartan program since taking a part time assistant coaching position in 1983. An assistant coach with the Spartans from 1983 86, Izzo left MSU in May of 1986 to become the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa. However, on June 10th of the same year, Izzo returned to East Lansing when Spartan assistant Mike Deane left to become head coach at Siena College. Since then, Tom Izzo has been the catalyst in the resurgence of the MSU program. Regarded as one of the country's top recruiters, Tom Izzo is known as a tireless worker both on the recruiting trail and in the office. His hard work and loyalty were rewarded in July 1990, when Jud Heathcote appointed him associate head coach. Coach Izzo's dutiful efforts were further recognized when, on March 30, 1993, then MSU Athletics Director Merrily Dean Baker recommended both a one year contract extension for Heathcote through the 1994-95 season and that Izzo be appointed head coach upon Heathcote's retirement. The MSU Board of Trustees accepted both recommendations on April 9, 1994. Izzo originally came to MSU from Northern Michigan, where he had been an assistant from 1979-83. From 1977-78, Izzo served as head coach at Ishpeming High School. Before that, he played guard for NMU's basketball team from 1973-77, and was voted the team's MVP as a senior. He was also a third team Division II All America pick that year and established the Wildcat record for most minutes played in a season. In October 1990, Tom Izzo was inducted into the NMU Hall of Fame. In 2001, he received honorary degrees from both Northern Michigan and Michigan State. Tom Izzo currently serves on the John R. Wooden Award Board of Governors. He is also an active volunteer with Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, and has served as honorary chairman of the Memory Walk, with proceeds going to combat Alzheimer's Disease. Tom Izzo was born on January 30, 1955. He is married and has two children.

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Teamwork, Motivation, Achieving Success

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