Here’s A Short List Of Coaches For Michigan State Once Tom Izzo Retires
College basketball has lost some of its biggest names to retirement in the last two years.
North Carolina's Roy Williams was first to retire last year. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was next, making the 2021-2022 his farewell tour. Jay Wright stunned the college basketball world several weeks ago when he announced his abrupt retirement.
Tom Izzo hasn't done that. He has said on several occasions that he still has dreams he'd like to make come true at Michigan State, ostensibly referring to win a second national championship with the Spartans.
But Izzo is no fan of where college basketball is, and where it's headed. That, in context with his age, this coming season being his son's last on the roster, and the retirement of several of his colleagues has many wondering how much longer Izzo will coach.
Last week on Staudt On Sports, Izzo laid out several concerns.
"You can say guys retired because they're getting older," Izzo said of the Williams, Krzyzewski, and Wright. "I don't think that's necessarily true. I think guys are retiring because the fight of the fight is getting insurmountable. Like everything else in life, you gotta learn how to adjust. You can't change the world, but at the same time you gotta make sure the world doesn't change you."
Izzo said Wright, with whom he is good friends, was simply exhausted of the new era of college sports.
"He just had it," Izzo said. "He just did not believe philosophically that this was helping kids, and that's my problem. It might help for a couple of years, but what about the next 70 years?
"We shouldn't be catering to the 1, 2, or 3 percent [of college basketball players who go on to play professionally]. I think we gotta get back to what is our job — our job is to make a kid's life better. Is that three years or four years — that's the problem I'm having right now."
Izzo will turn 68 years old during the 2022-2023 season, which will be his 28th at the helm for MSU. We've put together a short list of potential successors. It includes two of Izzo's former (and favorite) players, two of his former assistants, one Spartan basketball legend from the Jud Heathcote era, one Lansing-area basketball great (with a Spartan-friendly surname), one up-and-comer from a mid-major, and one dark-horse candidate from another Power Five program.