Longtime Michigan State head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo is officially a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, according to the official Twitter of Spartans basketball.
Joining Izzo as finalists were the following:
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Allen Iverson
- Kevin Johnson
- Sheryl Swoopes
- Eddie Sutton (coach)
- Bo Ryan (coach)
- John McLendon (coach)
- Muffett McGraw (coach)
- Robert Hughes (coach)
- Darrell Garretson (official)
- Leta Andrews (coach)
- Charles “Lefty” Driesell (coach)
- 1954-58 Wayland Baptist University
That’s a deep class, but there’s no doubt that Izzo, 61, deserves to be permanently enshrined in Springfield. He has coached Michigan State since 1995 and is currently in his 21st season as head coach, having served as an assistant under Jud Heathcote for over a decade prior to his promotion. As head coach, Izzo has gone 515-204 (240-11 Big Ten) and won a national championship in 2000.
Izzo has also led Michigan State to four Big Ten championships and seven Final Four trips, making the championship game twice. Needless to say, since assuming head coaching duties, Izzo has defined Spartans men’s basketball.
That said, it’s certainly going to be interesting to see if Izzo gets in this year. The inductees will be announced on April 4 during Final Four Weekend in Houston and if Izzo doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame in 2016, it will only be a matter of time before he does.