Tom Izzo already had to replace one assistant coach this offseason when Dwayne Stephens left to take the helm at Western Michigan.

Now he has his second vacancy in just a matter of weeks.

The Game 730 WVFN-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

Izzo's longtime assistant at MSU Mike Garland announced his retirement on Thursday.

"I've been blessed in my life to be provided many great opportunities," Garland said in a statement, "but among the best has been the opportunity to interact with the great young men who have been part of the Michigan State men's basketball program and to do so alongside my friend and loving brother that I can't say enough about, Tom Izzo, along with other fellow coaches during my time here."

"I always thought that Chief (Tom) and I would share the day of our departure together," Garland said. "And of course I could have given him a few more years to make that dream come true, like all the others we have shared together. But after several months of thought and reflection, while sitting at the hospital bedside of my son (Michael Ray), I decided it was best for my family, while I'm in great health, to give up the game I love to pour more of myself into my wife, my children and eight grandchildren."

Garland first joined Izzo's staff at MSU in 1996. He and Izzo played together at Northern Michigan in '70s.

"It will be hard for me to come into the office at 7:30 every morning where Mike and I would sit in my office and just talk and not have him there," Izzo said in a statement. "It will be hard for me to be out of the court or to look down to our bench and not hear his voice or see him there, but Mike Garland's presence at Michigan State is going to be felt for a long, long time."

Garland began his coaching career in the high school ranks in 1977.

Last week, Izzo hired former player Thomas Kelley as MSU's latest assistant basketball coach. Kelley came from Western Michigan where, ironically, he was one Stephens' assistants.

Michigan State's Short List For Tom Izzo's Eventual Replacement

We've put together a short list of names for Michigan State to consider when Tom Izzo eventually elects to hang up his clipboard. The list 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.

More From The Game 730 WVFN-AM