Tom Izzo reached an impressive milestone on Friday afternoon, winning his 600th career game as the head coach at Michigan State after the Spartans downed Ohio State in the quarterfinal round of the B1G Tournament.
In 24 seasons, Izzo has won 600 career games, appeared in seven Final Fours and has won a national championship. He’s also guided the Spartans to nine B1G regular season titles, five B1G Tournament titles and is a three-time conference coach of the year.
Yeah, Izzo has accomplished quite a lot in his career in East Lansing. So, what advice would the longtime head coach give to some of the newcomers to the business?
“Find an AD and a president that’s willing to stick with you when you start out 4-5 in your third year and everybody in the world wants to fire you, that’s one thing I’d do,” Izzo joked. “You know what I’d do? I’d get a good staff, I’d get good players. Better players make you a better coach.”
Izzo has had plenty of great players during his 24 years at Michigan State. He’s coached stars like Denzel Valentine, Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, Draymond Green, Kailin Lucas and Cassius Winston, among several others.
Those players, along with Izzo’s coaching, have kept Michigan State in the national spotlight as one of the premier teams in college basketball for two decades. But Izzo didn’t really have any secrets to share, and kept his advice simple.
“It’s a process, that’s what I’d tell you,” Izzo said. “A lot of guys out there are trying to shortcut it right now and some of them are going to pay for it. Don’t let the pressure get to you, just stick with the process, stick with what you believe in and hopefully you get hired by the right people.”
After beating Ohio State on Friday, Michigan State will continue to pursue its sixth B1G Tournament title, with its last win coming in 2016.