Eight-Time National Coach of the Year
One NCAA Championship
Seven Big Ten & Three Big Ten Tournament Championships
Six Final Four Appearances
16 Straight NCAA Tournaments
13 NBA Draft Picks, Including Six First-Rounders
Seven All-Americans, Two Academic All-Americans
Graduates 82% of Players that Complete Eligibility
Longest Serving Active Big Ten Men's Basketball Coach
One of Five Coaches All-Time with Seven Big Ten Titles
MSU's All-Time Winningest Coach
Entering his 19th year directing the Spartan program, head coach Tom Izzo has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including the 2000 NCAA National Championship, seven regular-season Big Ten Championships, three Big Ten Tournament titles, six Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten-best 16 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. These accomplishments, however, are not what make Izzo one of the best in the game, but rather it is his insatiable desire to accomplish more. With a career record of 439-178, it's easy to see that Izzo knows how to win, but he also knows how to win the right way. In his 18 years directing the Spartan program, 82 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree. In the last 14 years, 39 Spartans have received their undergraduate degrees.
In 18 seasons, Izzo has returned Michigan State to national prominence, placed his name in the NCAA record books and become a leader among college basketball coaches.
Izzo's 439 wins are fourth most by any coach in his first 18 seasons in the history of college basketball. In late November 2009, he passed his mentor Jud Heathcote (340 wins) to become MSU's all-time winningest coach. In the NCAA Tournament, Izzo is at his best, winning at a clip of .722 to rank seventh among all active coaches with at least 10 tournament games coached.
Izzo led MSU to six Final Four appearances between 1999 and 2010, becoming just the fourth school in college basketball history to do it in any 12-year span, including just the third since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Izzo also became just the second coach in NCAA history to reach four Final Fours in his first 10 years of coaching, joining Ohio State's Fred Taylor, and is just the third coach in NCAA history to appear in six Final Fours in a 12-year span, and just the second since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. His six Final Four appearances rank tied for sixth all-time, fourth among active coaches and first all-time among Big Ten coaches, having most recently passed former Indiana head coach Bob Knight.
Through 18 seasons, Izzo is already one of the most successful coaches in Big Ten history. His .688 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks third all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, while in all games, Izzo ranks fourth (.712). With 209 conference victories, Izzo ranks sixth all-time. With a win over Purdue on Jan. 5, 2013, Izzo became the third-winningest coach in Big Ten history, trailing only Knight (662 wins) and Purdue's Gene Keady (512 wins) for most wins at a Big Ten institution.
Furthermore, Izzo brings stability to Michigan State basketball. The 2013-14 season will be Izzo's 31st with the Spartans, as he is the longest serving active Big Ten men's basketball head coach. He is also a leader among his peers, serving as the NABC President from April 2010-April 2011, while serving on the John R. Wooden Award Board of Governors and the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee.
Over the past 16 seasons, Izzo has compiled an impressive 406-150 (.730) record. A quick look at other stats further demonstrates the Spartans' success over that stretch: 191-77 (.713) in the Big Ten; 230-22 (.913) at the Breslin Center, including a Big Ten record 53-game winning streak; 92-84 (.523) against Top 25 teams (including two wins over No. 1-ranked teams); 58-28 (.674) in postseason play and 39-15 (.722) in the NCAA Tournament. Individually, players have excelled under Izzo. Seven Spartans (Charlie Bell, Mateen Cleaves, Paul Davis, Draymond Green, Drew Neitzel, Morris Peterson and Jason Richardson) have earned some form of All-America honors, as Green was named National Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 2012. Chris Hill was a three-time Academic All-American, while Neitzel also earned Academic All-America accolades. Twenty-six different players have earned all-conference recognition, including 10 different first-team honorees, four Big Ten Players of the Year (Cleaves, Green, Lucas, Peterson) and one Big Ten Freshman of the Year (Gary Harris). One of the reasons for Izzo's success is his ability to recruit some of the nation's most talented high school players. During his time as head coach, Izzo has recruited 11 McDonald's All-Americans (Mateen Cleaves - 1996, Jason Richardson - 1999, Marcus Taylor and Zach Randolph - 2000, Kelvin Torbert - 2001, Paul Davis - 2002, Shannon Brown and Brandon Cotton - 2003, Keith Appling - 2010, Branden Dawson - 2011, Gary Harris - 2012). In addition, eight of the last 15 Michigan Mr. Basketball award winners suited up for the Green and White (1999 - Richardson, 2000 - Taylor, 2001 - Torbert, 2002 - Davis, 2004 - Drew Neitzel, 2009 - Derrick Nix, 2010 - Appling, 2012 - Matt Costello), while Shannon Brown won the 2003 Illinois Mr. Basketball Award and Gary Harris won the 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball Award.
But perhaps even more important to Izzo's success is his ability to take young talent and develop a player's skills, allowing him to grow as a player and go on to play professionally. Under Izzo, Michigan State has had 13 players selected in the NBA Draft, including 12 since 2000, six of whom were first rounders (Mateen Cleaves - 2000 first round, Morris Peterson - 2000 first round, Jason Richardson - 2001 first round, Zach Randolph - 2001 first round, Andre Hutson - 2001 second round, Marcus Taylor - 2002 second round, Erazem Lorbek - 2005 second round, Shannon Brown - 2006 first round, Maurice Ager - 2006 first round, Paul Davis - 2006 second round, Goran Suton - 2009 second round, Draymond Green - 2012 second round). Ager, Cleaves, Davis, Richardson, Randolph and Taylor were all high school All-Americans, but Izzo took Hutson, Peterson and Suton, who were not ranked in the top 75 coming out of high school, and turned them into NBA talent. In addition, Izzo-recruit Charlie Bell played in the NBA during the 2001-02 season after signing a free agent contract. After a successful stint overseas, Bell played seven more seasons in the NBA. Alan Anderson, a member of the 2005 Final Four team, signed a free agent contract and played two years with the Charlotte Bobcats and, after a stint in Europe, is in his third season back in the NBA. Numerous other former Spartans have enjoyed lucrative professional careers playing overseas.
Izzo has also emerged as a teacher, not only to his players, but also his assistant coaches. Five current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Izzo, including Tom Crean (Indiana), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech), Stan Heath (South Florida), Mark Montgomery (Northern Illinois) and Doug Wojcik (College of Charleston). Current assistant Mike Garland spent three seasons as head coach at Cleveland State following an initial seven-year stint at MSU, while Stan Joplin was also head coach at Toledo for 12 seasons, and Jim Boylen served as head coach at Utah for four seasons.
In 2012-13, the Spartans collected a 27-9 record, including 13-5 in the Big Ten, against perhaps the nation's most difficult schedule, playing 13 games against ranked opponents. The slate was especially difficult down the stretch as 14 of MSU's last 18 games (postseason included) were against opponents that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State advanced to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last six seasons, ranking tied for the most in the nation. Of the 21 20-win seasons in Michigan State history, Izzo has been involved in 18 of them, 13 as a head coach and five as an assistant.
On Jan. 16, 2013, Izzo recorded his 200th conference victory against Penn State, joining Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) as the only active coaches in a power conference with 200 conference wins at their current school. In April, Izzo received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award, honoring an individual in college basketball who has made a significant impact on society.
The Spartans proved to be dominant defensively once again in 2012-13, pacing the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense (.390) and steals (8.0 spg), while ranking second is scoring defense (59.1 ppg) and third in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.300). MSU also continued to be strong on the glass, ranking second in the Big Ten and 10th in the nation with a +7.6 rebound margin, marking the 11th time that an Izzo-coached team ranked in the Top 10 in the nation.
The 2011-12 season was one of Izzo's most rewarding as head coach. The Spartans entered the season unranked, returning only two players who averaged over 20 minutes a game the previous season. MSU opened the year with neutral-site losses to No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke, but responded with 15 straight victories, including road wins at No. 23 Gonzaga and No. 18 Wisconsin, marking the Spartans' first win in Madison since 2001. Keyed by a mid-February win at No. 3 Ohio State, MSU would go on to capture a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship, the seventh of the Izzo era, and head to the Big Ten Tournament where it defeated Ohio State to capture the third Big Ten Tournament title in school history, and the first since 2000. Michigan State was rewarded with a No. 1 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, where it would advance to the Sweet 16 for the 10th time in the last 15 years, good for second most in the nation. MSU would finish with a 29-8 record.
Statistically, the Spartans finished the 2011-12 season ranked second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.379), the best effort by a Spartan squad since 1959. Once again, the Spartans were a dominant presence on the glass, ranking fifth in the nation in rebounding margin (+8.0), and pacing the Big Ten for the 12th time in the last 15 seasons, and the 13th time in his career. For his efforts, Izzo was named the 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the league's media and coaches. He also was named Division I National Coach of the Year by the NABC, and was CBSSports.com's pick for national coach of the year as well.