March 13, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, who guided a team that was not ranked in the preseason Top 25 to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, has been named the National Coach of the Year by CBSSports.com.
MSU is 27-7 this season and won its third Big Ten Tournament title in program history last Sunday with a 68-64 victory over No. 7 Ohio State. The victory gave Michigan State the No. 1 seed in the West Region, as the Spartans became just the 10th team in NCAA history to go from unranked in the preseason to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Spartans also won a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship with a 13-5 conference record, giving Izzo his seventh Big Ten title. He is one of just five coaches in history with seven or more Big Ten titles, as only Indiana's Bob Knight (11), Purdue's Ward Lambert (11), Ohio State's Fred Taylor (9) and Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (8) have won more.
Izzo was also named the 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, marking the third time he has won the award (1998, 2009).
The Spartans entered the season with just two players who averaged more than 20 minutes per game in 2010-11. After starting the season 0-2 with neutral site losses to No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke, Michigan State won 15 straight games to vault into the Top 10.
MSU opened conference play with four wins, but dropped three of its next five. Standing at 6-3 in league play, Izzo guided the Spartans to seven straight conference wins to grab a share of the league title. He won his 400th game as a head coach on Jan. 25 as MSU defeated Minnesota at the Breslin Center, 68-52.
This year's Spartan squad has displayed the staples of all great Izzo teams: rebounding and defense. MSU leads the Big Ten in all games in rebound margin (+8.0) and field-goal percentage defense (.378).
For Izzo, this is the seventh time he has been named National Coach of the Year by a major organization. He also was named the top coach in the country in 1998 (Associated Press, Basketball News, United States Basketball Writers Association), 1999 (Basketball Times), 2001 (National Association of Basketball Coaches) and 2005 (Clair Bee).
Izzo, who is in his 17th season as head coach at Michigan State, owns a 410-168 (.709) career record. He has led Michigan State to six Final Fours (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010) and the 2000 National Championship.