January 30, 1955 |
Iron Mountain, Michigan
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Ishpeming HS (MI)
Northern Michigan (assistant)
Michigan State (assistant)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 NCAA Division I Championship (2000)
6 Regional Championships – Final Four (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010)
7 Big Ten Championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2012)
4 Big Ten Tournament Championships (1999, 2000, 2012, 2014)
2 NCAA Championship Games (2000, 2009)
8 Elite Eight (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014)
12 Sweet 16 (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)
17 NCAA Tournament bids (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Associated Press National Coach of the Year (1998)
Henry Iba Award (1998)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1998, 2009, 2012)
Tom Izzo (//, Italian pronunciation: [ˈittso]; born January 30, 1955) is an American college basketball coach. Since 1995, he has been the head coach for the Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team, presiding over a prolonged period of success.
Under Izzo, the Michigan State program has been one of the most successful in the country. Izzo has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Division I National Championship, the 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship Game, six Final Fours, and seven Big Ten Championships in his first 17 years at Michigan State. The coach with the most wins in school history, Izzo's teams have been invited to the past 16 consecutive NCAA tournaments, in addition to setting the Big Ten record for the longest home winning streak. These accomplishments led analyst Andy Katz at ESPN to deem Michigan State the top college basketball program for the decade from 1998 to 2007.
Currently the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten Conference, Izzo, whose teams are often recognized for their rebounding prowess and defensive tenacity, has won four national coach of the year awards and maintains a considerable coaching tree—several of his former assistants are currently head coaches at other Division I schools. Izzo is just the 5th coach in Big Ten history to win 7 conference titles.
Izzo was born and raised in Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he met best friend and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. Both attended Iron Mountain High where they were teammates on the football, basketball and track teams. At Northern Michigan University in Marquette, where they were roommates, Izzo played guard for the men's basketball team from 1973 to 1977. In his senior season, he set a school record for minutes played and was named a Division II All-American.
After graduating from Northern Michigan, Izzo was head coach at Ishpeming High School for one season. He then took an assistant coaching job at Northern Michigan University from 1979 to 1983. Izzo was then named a part-time assistant at Michigan State in September 1983. After a short two month stay in 1986 as an assistant coach at University of Tulsa, Izzo returned to Michigan State when assistant Mike Deane left to become head coach at Siena College. Prior to the 1990–91 season, then-current coach Jud Heathcote elevated Izzo to associate head coach. After Heathcote's retirement following the 1994-95 season and upon both his and the Michigan State Athletic Director's recommendation, Izzo was named the new head coach of men's basketball for MSU.
Hired as head coach at Michigan State in 1995, Izzo is currently the longest-tenured basketball coach in the Big Ten Conference. He became the coach with the most wins in school history after winning his 341st game on November 29, 2009 to surpass Heathcote. In his first two seasons as head coach, Izzo went 9-9 finishing 6th and 7th in the conference and failed to make the tournament. In 1998, MSU's record in conference improved to 13-3 and Izzo won the first of his seven regular-season Big Ten championships and three Big Ten Tournament titles. 1998 also saw Michigan State begin a streak of 15 straight NCAA tournament appearances, which is the 3rd longest current streak among Division I teams. During that run only Roy Williams (38 wins) and Mike Krzyzewski (39 wins) have more NCAA tournament wins than Tom Izzo (37). The following season the team went to the first of Izzo's three straight Final Four appearances, joining Krzyzewski and Ben Howland as the only three coaches who have made three consecutive Final Fours since the NCAA tournament bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Izzo's .725 winning percentage (37-14 record) in the NCAA tournament ranks third among all active coaches with 10 or more games coached. He currently holds a 20-14 head-to-head record against in-state rival University of Michigan. However, since Michigan was forced by the NCAA to vacate five of those victories due to violations, Izzo's official record against the Wolverines is 20-9.
In 2000, Izzo led MSU to its second NCAA national championship with an 89-76 win over the Florida Gators. Eighty-two percent of his players who completed their eligibility left MSU with a degree. Over the last ten years, Izzo has been pursued by the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Jersey Nets for head coaching jobs. Izzo fell short of obtaining his 2nd national championship on April 6, 2009, losing to North Carolina 89–72. His streak of three straight Final Four appearances from 1999 to 2001 is the third-longest of all time, and his six Final Four appearances in the years 1999–2010 were matched by no other team in college basketball. During the summer of 2010, Izzo was approached by the Cleveland Cavaliers on becoming their next head coach. With the possibility of potentially being able to coach LeBron James, Izzo pondered the offer for over a week. Finally, on June 15, 2010, Izzo reported to the Michigan State University's Board of Trustees that he would remain head coach of Michigan State, in which he stated he was "a Spartan for life."
Izzo's teams are known for strong guard play, toughness and rebounding. Izzo is famed for his "war" rebounding drill, in which the players wear football helmets and shoulder pads. His motto is "Players Play – Tough Players Win". His other coaching philosophy is that "he doesn't determine playing time, players do." Izzo is also known for scheduling extremely tough non-conference schedules as preparation for the NCAA tournament. This way the players have already played the top teams in the country and won't be fazed come March Madness.
Thirteen High School All-Americans have played for Tom Izzo at MSU:
NA = Naismith All-American; M = McDonald's All-Americans; P = Parade All-America Boys Basketball Team; N = Sporting News; E = EA Sports All-America; U = USA Today
Thirteen Mr. Basketball winners have played for Tom Izzo at MSU.
Under Izzo, seven Spartans have earned All-America honors
Under Izzo 18 different players have earned first or second team All-Big Ten conference recognition and four have been named Player of the Year.
Since he took over as head coach, thirteen players have been selected in the NBA draft. Six of those players have been drafted in the first round. The former players under Tom Izzo who have made the NBA are: 
Two former Spartan basketball players have joined the National Football League after the conclusion of their college basketball careers.
Several of Izzo's former assistants are currently head coaches at other schools:
Former Izzo assistants who were college head coaches:
Current Izzo assistants who were previously college head coaches:
Izzo was head coach of the USA Basketball men's team that took 4th place at the 2003 Pan American Games. Prior to that he was assistant coach of the team that had a 5–0 record and won the gold medal at the 2001 Goodwill Games. Izzo served on the Collegiate Committee of USA Basketball's 2005-2008 Quadrennium Committees.
In 2005 and 2006, Izzo participated in Operation Hardwood, in which college coaches went to Kuwait military camps to coach basketball teams of American service members. Among the other coaches were Tubby Smith, Gary Williams, and Rick Barnes. In 2005, Izzo's team won the tournament championship.
|Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1995–present)|
|1995–96||Michigan State||16–16||9–9||7th||NIT Second Round|
|1996–97||Michigan State||17–12||9–9||T–6th||NIT Second Round|
|1997–98||Michigan State||22–8||13–3||T–1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1998–99||Michigan State||33–5||15–1||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|1999–00||Michigan State||32–7||13–3||T–1st||NCAA Champions|
|2000–01||Michigan State||28–5||13–3||T–1st||NCAA Final Four|
|2001–02||Michigan State||19–12||10–6||5th||NCAA First Round|
|2002–03||Michigan State||22–13||10–6||T–3rd||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2003–04||Michigan State||18–12||12–4||T–2nd||NCAA First Round|
|2004–05||Michigan State||26–7||13–3||2nd||NCAA Final Four|
|2005–06||Michigan State||22–12||8–8||T–6th||NCAA First Round|
|2006–07||Michigan State||23–12||8–8||T–7th||NCAA Second Round|
|2007–08||Michigan State||27–9||12–6||4th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2008–09||Michigan State||31–7||15–3||1st||NCAA Runner-Up|
|2009–10||Michigan State||28–9||14–4||T–1st||NCAA Final Four|
|2010–11||Michigan State||19–15||9–9||T–4th||NCAA Second Round|
|2011–12||Michigan State||29–8||13–5||T–1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2012–13||Michigan State||27–9||13–5||T–2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2013–14||Michigan State||29–9||12–6||T–2nd||NCAA Elite Eight|
|Michigan State:||468–187 (.715)||221–101 (.686)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tom Izzo.|
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