|Annual salary||$8.3 million|
|Born||January 30, 1955|
Iron Mountain, Michigan, U.S.
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1979–1983||Northern Michigan (assistant)|
|1983–1995||Michigan State (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||53–23 (NCAA Division I)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2016 (profile)
Tom Izzo (/ˈɪzoʊ/, 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.
Izzo has led the Spartans to eight Final Fours in the NCAA Tournament, which include the NCAA National Championship in 2000 and a Runner-Up finish in 2009. His teams have won ten Big Ten regular season titles, and six Big Ten tournament championships in his 28 years at Michigan State. Izzo has the most wins in school history and his teams have earned invitations to 25 consecutive NCAA tournaments, a men's college basketball record, without having a single losing season as a head coach. In addition, MSU set the Big Ten record for the longest home court winning streak between 1998 and 2002. Several of these accomplishments led former ESPN analyst Andy Katz to deem Michigan State the top college basketball program for the decade of 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 10 regular-season conference titles, the third most in conference history. He has also won the most Big Ten tournament titles (six) in conference history.
On March 6, 2022, Izzo surpassed Bob Knight for the most wins by a men's basketball coach at a Big Ten school with 663.
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.
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.
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 10 regular-season Big Ten championships. 1998 also saw Michigan State begin a streak of 24 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, which is the 2nd longest current streak among Division I teams. Izzo has a record of 53–23 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 31–14, 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 with a loss to North Carolina 89–72 in Detroit. 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.
In 2013, Izzo was voted as the fifth angriest coach in college basketball by USA Today Sports, an honor that he cherishes.
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 2018–19 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.
On February 26, 2022, with a win over the No. 4-ranked Purdue Boilermakers, Izzo tied former Indiana coach Bob Knight for the most wins all-time at a Big Ten school.
On August 11, 2022 Izzo signed a 5-year contract extension, worth 6.2 million dollars annually, with the Spartans. The contract solidifies that Izzo with be a "Spartan for life".
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.
In the Fall of 2016, Izzo was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Hall of Fame.
We'll play anybody, anyplace, anytime. It doesn't matter, morning, noon or night, and it doesn't matter who it is.
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.
Two of Izzo's former assistants are currently head coaches at other schools:
One of Izzo's former assistants was a head coach in the NBA:
Several former Izzo assistants 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 fourth 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.
Tom Izzo has been married to his wife, Lupe Marinez Izzo, since 1992. They have a daughter, Raquel, and an adopted son, Steven. Steven is a walk-on player for his father at Michigan State.
|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 Division I Sweet 16|
|1998–99||Michigan State||33–5||15–1||1st||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|1999–00||Michigan State||32–7||13–3||T–1st||NCAA Division I Champion|
|2000–01||Michigan State||28–5||13–3||T–1st||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|2001–02||Michigan State||19–12||10–6||5th||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2002–03||Michigan State||22–13||10–6||T–3rd||NCAA Division I Elite Eight|
|2003–04||Michigan State||18–12||12–4||T–2nd||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2004–05||Michigan State||26–7||13–3||2nd||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|2005–06||Michigan State||22–12||8–8||T–6th||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2006–07||Michigan State||23–12||8–8||T–7th||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|2007–08||Michigan State||27–9||12–6||4th||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|2008–09||Michigan State||31–7||15–3||1st||NCAA Division I Runner-Up|
|2009–10||Michigan State||28–9||14–4||T–1st||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|2010–11||Michigan State||19–15||9–9||T–4th||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2011–12||Michigan State||29–8||13–5||T–1st||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|2012–13||Michigan State||27–9||13–5||T–2nd||NCAA Division I Sweet 16|
|2013–14||Michigan State||29–9||12–6||T–2nd||NCAA Division I Elite Eight|
|2014–15||Michigan State||27–12||12–6||T–3rd||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|2015–16||Michigan State||29–6||13–5||2nd||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2016–17||Michigan State||20–15||10–8||T–5th||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|2017–18||Michigan State||30–5||16–2||1st||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|2018–19||Michigan State||32–7||16–4||T–1st||NCAA Division I Final Four|
|2019–20||Michigan State||22–9||14–6||T–1st||No postseason held (COVID-19)|
|2020–21||Michigan State||15–13||9–11||T–8th||NCAA Division I First Four|
|2021–22||Michigan State||23–13||11–9||T–7th||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|2022–23||Michigan State||19–12||11–8||4th||NCAA Division I|
|Michigan State:||685–278 (.711)||333–160 (.675)|
Postseason invitational champion
Current through 2022-23 season