Izzo wins third Big Ten coach of the year award
Is there any coach quite like Tom Izzo? I submit to you no, there is not. In fact, there is not one who comes close.
The Big Ten coaches and media agreed — as both named Izzo Big Ten coach of the year on Monday. See his interview from Big Ten Network here.
Izzo took a young team that lost all but one starter from 2010-11, played the toughest schedule in the country, and won 25 games and the Big Ten title — the seventh of his career.
“I think this award is a team award because if the players didn’t do what they did, the coaches wouldn’t get the credit,” Izzo said in a statement. “There are a lot of great coaches in this league this year and they are just as deserving as I am. I just thank God that I’ve got the right players that helped us become a championship team. If the team does well, the individual awards will come and this year is a perfect example of that.”
The Spartans opened the season unranked on an aircraft carrier against then-No. 1 North Carolina and lost. They also lost their second game, to then-No. 6 Duke.
They then rattled off 15 wins in a row and went 25-5 the rest of the season. In those wins was Izzo’s 400th career win, in a resounding victory against Minnesota.
He also won Big Ten coach of the year in 1998 and 2009.
“It’s only his third time winning it?” said Draymond Green, who was named Big Ten player of the year. “I thought it would be his seventh or something. That just goes to show how good his teams are. It all starts with Coach, he is the head of our program and for him to bring this program and this team together like he has, he is definitely deserving of this award.”