For over a decade, Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo formed one of the most dynamic football-basketball coaching tandems in college athletics. For many years, Michigan State was a force on the football field and the basketball court.
One part of that dynamic duo is gone now, with Dantonio deciding to step away from his coaching duties following the 2019 season. After 13 years, 132 wins, three B1G titles and a College Football Playoff appearance, the Michigan State football program is under new leadership.
Izzo, 65, is still moving forward with his coaching career after serving as the head coach of the basketball program for two decades. While he didn’t put a number or timeframe on it, the longtime leader of Spartans hoops understands that his career may be coming to a close. When will it happen, though?
“Sometimes it’s a family decision. Sometimes, there’s things that happen in these jobs that you just say ‘how much longer you wanna beat your head against the wall?’ And I’m not sure there’s any right time,” Izzo said in an interview with BTN. “I just know this, for Mark [Dantonio] it was the right time. For me, when it happens, I will not hold on. I’ve seen too many coaches hold on. The way I look at it, when I lose my desire to recruit all the time…when I get tired of that, it’ll be time for me to go.”
Izzo guided Michigan State to another 20-win season and a share of the B1G title for a third-straight season. He says this year’s run — even with the NCAA Tournament canceled — was just as thrilling as the program’s national championship run in 2000.
“Those last six, eight games when we had a chance to win the B1G and we had a chance to make a run, I was just as excited as I was 20 years ago when we won the national championship,” Izzo said. “I don’t have retirement in my mind.”
During his 25-year career at Michigan State, Izzo has compiled a 628-241 record with 10 B1G regular season titles, six B1G Tournament titles, eight Final Four appearances and a national championship.
He's been the @MSU_Basketball coach for a quarter century, and his good friend Mark Dantonio recently retired.
What does Tom Izzo's future look like?
"When I lose my desire to recruit all the time . . . it'll be time for me to go." pic.twitter.com/rXQuM3Ckfx
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) April 19, 2020