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Court Report: Tom Izzo says he won’t retire in 2024, but when he does, he’ll likely do it like Nick Saban

When Tom Izzo was picked as Jud Heathcote’s successor as the men’s basketball coach at Michigan State in the early 1990s, he received counsel from then-Spartans football coach George Perles. At that point, Perles oversaw the football program and doubled as MSU’s athletic director; he was the one who cleared Izzo as coach-in-waiting. When that happened, Perles told the young coach that it was crucial to write up a “good contract.”

“Why?” Izzo asked.

“Because eventually you’re gonna get fired,” Perles said. “You’ve got to make sure the contract is good enough to save you, or at least pay.”

Izzo laughed. Here he was, still a couple years from taking the head gig and Perles already had him on the street. Not long after that, Perles was out of a job. More than 30 years removed from that meeting between the two, Izzo is in the Hall of Fame and ranks among the greatest coaches in college basketball history. It’s been an epic run, but MSU’s 2023-24 campaign has brought on some late-career turbulence.

Michigan State is in the unusual position of being an NCAA Tournament bubble team in mid-January. The Spartans were ranked No. 4 in the preseason, yet sit at 10-7 and are merely 2-4 in the Big Ten. Izzo is staring down the possibility of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 27 years. It’s the third-longest streak in NCAA history and it carries as much meaning to Izzo as maybe anything he’s accomplished at Michigan State. 

“It means the world to me,” Izzo told CBS Sports. “Consistency is probably more important to me than any other thing. Because consistency means that you’ve been able to weather through different storms.”

MSU hasn’t been consistent this season, and as a result, Izzo’s also been increasingly vocal — even more than usual — about his discontent with where college athletics finds itself in this evolving age.

“I’m healthy. I love my job. I’m really questioning my profession,”…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/court-report-tom-izzo-says-he-wont-retire-in-2024-but-when-he-does-hell-likely-do-it-like-nick-saban/

Author : Matt Norlander

Publish date : 2024-01-21 18:32:09

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