Izzo at a practice before the Carrier Classic in 2011
|Annual salary||$4.4 million |
|Born||January 30, 1955|
Iron Mountain, Michigan
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1979–1983||Northern Michigan (assistant)|
|1983–1995||Michigan State (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||52–21 (NCAA Division I)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2016 (profile)
Tom Izzo (//, Italian pronunciation: [ˈittso]); born January 30, 1955), is an American college basketball coach who has been the head coach at Michigan State University since 1995. On April 4, 2016, Izzo was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Under Izzo, Michigan State has been a successful collegiate basketball program, earning him the nickname of “Mr March” by some on account of his past success in the NCAA Tournament. Izzo has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Division I National Championship, the 2009 NCAA National Championship Game, eight Final Fours, ten Big Ten championships, and six Big Ten Tournament championships in his 25 years at Michigan State. The coach with the most wins in school history, Izzo's teams have earned invitations to 22 consecutive NCAA tournaments, and his teams have never had a losing season. In addition, MSU set the Big Ten record for the longest home court 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.
Izzo is currently the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten Conference, and his teams are often recognized for their rebounding prowess and defensive tenacity. He 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 has won ten regular-season conference titles, the third most in conference history. He has also won the most Big Ten Tournament titles (six) in conference history. Izzo is second all-time in Big Ten wins (302 through 2020), trailing only Bob Knight.
Izzo, who is of Italian and Finnish descent, was born and raised in Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the border of Wisconsin. In his hometown he met best friend and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. Both he and his friend 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.
Early coaching career
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 coach Jud Heathcote elevated Izzo to associate head coach. After Heathcote's retirement following the 1994–95 season and upon both Heathcote and the Michigan State Athletic Director's recommendation, Izzo was named the new head coach of men's basketball for MSU.
Head coach at Michigan State
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 NCAA Tournament. In 1998, MSU's record in conference improved to 13–3 and Izzo won the first of his ten regular-season Big Ten championships. 1998 also saw Michigan State begin a streak of 22 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, which is the 3rd longest current streak among Division I teams. Izzo has a record of 52–21 in the NCAA Tournament. In 1999, Izzo won his first of six Big Ten Tournament titles, and went to his first Final Four, the first of 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. In the instate rivalry with Michigan, Izzo's official record against the Wolverines is 24–14, although Michigan vacated five of their wins in the series at the start of his head coaching career.
In 2000, Izzo led MSU to its second NCAA national championship with an 89–76 win over Florida. Eighty-two percent of his players who completed their eligibility left MSU with a degree. Over the years, Izzo has been pursued by the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Jersey Nets for head coaching jobs. After a brief flirtation with Cleveland, 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 fell short of obtaining his second national championship in 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.
On November 26, 2015, Izzo won his 500th career game, all with Michigan State, with a win over Boston College in the Wooden Legacy. On January 28, 2016, Izzo won his 513th career game moving him into second place past Gene Keady all time for wins by a coach in the Big Ten. He trails only Bob Knight.
On March 18, 2016, MSU suffered what was, at the time, perhaps the single greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history when No. 15 seeded Middle Tennessee defeated the No. 2 seeded Spartans 90–81. It was believed that MSU was the equivalent of a No. 1 seed and Vegas odds had them pegged the favorite to win the title. Middle Tennessee led from start to finish and held off repeated Michigan State threats to take the lead. Despite that, Izzo stated that the team "resurrected me".
On October 13, 2016, Izzo won the Dean Smith Award which is awarded to “an individual in college basketball who embodies the spirit and values of the late North Carolina coaching great.”.
Izzo led the 2018-2019 Spartans to a 32-7 overall record, his fifth 30-win season, and 19th season with 20+ wins, nearly triple his predecessor's seven 20-win campaigns; the team reached the Final Four for the eighth time under Izzo. On October 21, 2019, at the outset of Izzo's 25th season leading the Spartans, Michigan State was named the preseason No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top 25 men's college basketball preseason poll for the first time in program history, dating to the beginning of the AP poll in 1948. 
Hall of Fame
On April 4, 2016, Izzo was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Izzo chose former Maryland head coach Gary Williams to introduce him at the Hall of Fame ceremony. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on September 9, 2016.
Tom Izzo 
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 philosophies include, "he doesn't determine playing time, players do" and "A player-coached team is better than a coach-coached team." Izzo is also known for scheduling extremely tough non-conference schedules as preparation for the NCAA tournament in March.
High School Player Recruiting
High School All-Americans
Nineteen High School All-Americans have played for Tom Izzo at MSU:
- 1996: Mateen Cleaves (M)
- 1999: Jason Richardson (M)
- 2000: Marcus Taylor (M), Zach Randolph (M)
- 2001: Kelvin Torbert (M)
- 2002: Paul Davis (M)
- 2003: Shannon Brown (M, J), Brandon Cotton (M)
- 2007: Kalin Lucas (J)
- 2008: Delvon Roe (J)
- 2010: Keith Appling (M)
- 2011: Branden Dawson (M)
- 2012: Gary Harris (M, J)
- 2015: Deyonta Davis (M, J)
- 2016: Miles Bridges (M, J), Joshua Langford (M), Cassius Winston (J)
- 2017: Jaren Jackson Jr. (M, J)
- 2019: Mark "Rocket" Watts (J)
M = McDonald's All-Americans; J = Jordan Brand All-Americans
14 different Mr. Basketball winners have played (or will play) for Tom Izzo at MSU.
Mr. Basketball of Michigan
- 1999: Jason Richardson, Saginaw Arthur Hill
- 2000: Marcus Taylor, Lansing Waverly
- 2001: Kelvin Torbert, Flint Northwestern High School
- 2002: Paul Davis, Rochester High School
- 2004: Drew Neitzel, Wyoming Park High School
- 2009: Derrick Nix, Detroit Pershing
- 2010: Keith Appling, Detroit Pershing
- 2012: Matt Costello, Bay City Western
- 2015: Deyonta Davis, Muskegon
- 2016: Cassius Winston, University of Detroit-Jesuit
- 2018: Foster Loyer, Clarkston
- 2012: Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern
- 2006: Isaiah Dahlman, Braham
College player development
National Player of the Year Awards
Under Izzo, two Spartans have earned National Player of the Year awards:
College All-America honors
Under Izzo, Spartans that have earned All-America honors:
- 1998: Mateen Cleaves Second Team
- 1999: Mateen Cleaves First Team
- 1999: Morris Peterson Honorable Mention
- 2000: Mateen Cleaves Second Team
- 2000: Morris Peterson Second Team
- 2001: Charlie Bell Third Team
- 2001: Jason Richardson Second Team
- 2004: Paul Davis Honorable Mention
- 2004: Chris Hill (Academic)
- 2005: Chris Hill (Academic)
- 2006 Maurice Ager Honorable Mention
- 2006 Paul Davis Honorable Mention
- 2007 Drew Neitzel Honorable Mention
- 2008 Drew Neitzel Honorable Mention
- 2008 Drew Neitzel Second Team (Academic)
- 2009 Kalin Lucas Honorable Mention
- 2010 Kalin Lucas Honorable Mention
- 2012: Draymond Green First Team
- 2014: Gary Harris Honorable Mention
- 2014: Adreian Payne Honorable Mention
- 2016: Denzel Valentine First Team
- 2018: Miles Bridges Second Team
- 2019: Cassius Winston First Team
- 2020: Cassius Winston Second Team
- 2020: Xavier Tillman Second Team (Academic)
Under Izzo, six different players have been named Big Ten Player of the Year. 13 different players have earned first team All-Big Ten conference recognition while 18 have been named All-Big Ten second team..
Big Ten Player of the Year
- 1998: Mateen Cleaves
- 1999: Mateen Cleaves
- 2000: Morris Peterson
- 2009: Kalin Lucas
- 2012: Draymond Green
- 2016: Denzel Valentine
- 2019: Cassius Winston
- 1998: Mateen Cleaves
- 1999: Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson
- 2000: Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson
- 2001: Charlie Bell, Jason Richardson
- 2002: Marcus Taylor
- 2004: Paul Davis
- 2007: Drew Neitzel
- 2008: Drew Neitzel (coaches)
- 2009: Kalin Lucas
- 2010: Kalin Lucas
- 2012: Draymond Green
- 2014: Gary Harris
- 2016: Denzel Valentine
- 2018: Miles Bridges
- 2019: Cassius Winston
- 2020: Cassius Winston
- 2001: Charlie Bell, Andre Hutson
- 2003: Chris Hill
- 2004: Chris Hill
- 2005: Maurice Ager, Alan Anderson
- 2006: Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown, Paul Davis
- 2008: Drew Neitzel (media), Raymar Morgan
- 2009: Goran Suton
- 2011: Kalin Lucas
- 2013: Keith Appling, Gary Harris, Adreian Payne
- 2014: Adreian Payne
- 2015: Branden Dawson
- 2016: Bryn Forbes
- 2017: Miles Bridges
- 2020: Xavier Tillman
Sixth Man of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
NBA player development
Since he took over as head coach, 20 players have been selected in the NBA draft, with 11 of those players being drafted in the first round. The former players under Tom Izzo who have been selected in the NBA draft are: 
|1996||2||48||Jamie Feick||Philadelphia 76ers|
|2000||1||14||Mateen Cleaves||Detroit Pistons|
|2000||1||21||Morris Peterson||Toronto Raptors|
|2001||1||5||Jason Richardson||Golden State Warriors|
|2001||1||19||Zach Randolph||Portland Trail Blazers|
|2001||2||51||Andre Hutson||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2002||2||51||Marcus Taylor||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2005||2||46||Erazem Lorbek||Indiana Pacers|
|2006||1||25||Shannon Brown||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2006||1||28||Maurice Ager||Dallas Mavericks|
|2006||2||34||Paul Davis||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2009||2||50||Goran Suton||Utah Jazz|
|2012||2||35||Draymond Green||Golden State Warriors|
|2014||1||15||Adreian Payne||Atlanta Hawks|
|2014||1||19||Gary Harris||Chicago Bulls|
|2015||2||56||Branden Dawson||New Orleans Pelicans|
|2016||1||14||Denzel Valentine||Chicago Bulls|
|2016||2||31||Deyonta Davis||Boston Celtics|
|2018||1||4||Jaren Jackson Jr.||Memphis Grizzlies|
|2018||1||12||Miles Bridges||Los Angeles Clippers|
Undrafted players to appear in the NBA
- 2001: Charlie Bell (Phoenix Suns)
- 2005: Alan Anderson (Charlotte Bobcats)
- 2014: Kalin Lucas (Memphis Grizzlies)
- 2015: Keith Appling (Orlando Magic)
- 2016: Bryn Forbes (San Antonio Spurs)
- 2017: Matt Costello (San Antonio Spurs)
Two former Spartan basketball players have joined the National Football League after the conclusion of their college basketball careers.
- On June 14, 2009, Shannon Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers became the first former player under Izzo to win an NBA Championship. Brown went on to win a second NBA championship in 2010.
- On June 16, 2015, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors became the second former player under Izzo to win an NBA Championship. Green went on to win a second NBA championship in 2017 and a third in 2018.
Other basketball endeavors
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.
Marriage and family
Head coaching record
Current through December 29, 2019
- List of NCAA Division I Men's Final Four appearances by coach
- NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament consecutive appearances
- "NCAA Salaries". USA Today. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
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-  Michigan State's Tom Izzo is college hoops' best coach, bar none Retrieved January 23, 2011
- Wire, SI. "Shaq, Iverson, Ming headline Hall of Fame class". www.si.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- "Reiter than You – CBS Sports Radio".
- Auerbach, Nicole (March 14, 2014). "Michigan State's Tom Izzo is Mr. March". USA Today.
- Lansing State Journal, and Detroit Free Press, Mr. March (Pediment Books, 2015).
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- "Tom Izzo moved up to No. 2 in all-time Big Ten wins but didn't like how he did it". MLive.com. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- Tom Izzo Biography Archived July 30, 2012, at Archive.today CoachIzzo.com Retrieved June 19, 2010
- Tom Van Riper (March 5, 2012). "The highest-paid college basketball coaches". Forbes. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Izzo sets Michigan State record for wins as Spartans cruise CBS Sports. Retrieved June 19, 2010
- Report: Hawks make offer to Izzo" CNNSI.com, May 12, 2000, retrieved August 7, 2006
- "Izzo not interested in Raptors, plans to stay put Archived April 21, 2005, at the Wayback Machine" by Kelly Theiser, The State News, June 15, 2004, retrieved August 7, 2006
- "Tom to Tucson: Izzo Top Candidate for Arizona Job" by Chris Domschke "The Beardown" "www.thebeardown.com" November 14, 2008, retrieved November 21, 2008
- IZZO STAYS A SPARTAN WLNS-TV 6 Lansing, Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "The 10 angriest coaches in college basketball". USA Today.
- "Izzo wins 500th, fueled by Valentine triple-double". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "Izzo cherishes chance to pass 'unlucky' Keady in B1G wins". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Rutherford, Mike. "Middle Tennessee State's win over Michigan State is the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history". SBNation.com. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Izzo: "They resurrected me"". SpartanTailgate. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Spartans' Tom Izzo wins Dean Smith Award". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- "Spartans No. 1 in AP preseason poll for 1st time". ESPN.com. October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
- "'It's surreal': MSU's Izzo makes Hall of Fame". Detroit News. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- "Former Maryland coach Gary Williams to introduce Tom Izzo at Hall of Fame enshrinement". Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- "After making the Hall of Fame, only one goal remains for Tom Izzo". Retrieved September 13, 2016.
- McNeill, Kevin (November 19, 2005). "Maui Invitational: Strength of Schedule". collegehoops.net. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- Shelton, Gary. "Spartans are bruisers, and proud of it". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- Ken Mannie; Mike Vorkapich. "Spartan Basketball – Training With a Football Mentality". Coach and Athletic Director. Scholastic Corporation. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Michigan Mr. Basketball: Clarkston's Foster Loyer wins in runaway vote". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Spartans in the NBA Archived January 19, 2013, at Archive.today CoachIzzo.com. Retrieved June 19, 2010
- "USA Basketball: USA Basketball 2001–2004 Quadrennium Committees". January 18, 2002. Archived from the original on December 29, 2005. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Tom Izzo". www.msuspartans.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
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