HOUSTON — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is officially a Hall of Famer.
Izzo was announced Monday as part of the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, and he will be enshrined Sept. 9 at the Hall in Springfield, Mass.
Izzo joins Earvin “Magic” Johnson (enshrined in 2002) and the late Pete Newell (1979) – a former MSU, Cal and U.S. Olympics coach—as Hall of Famers with MSU ties. Izzo talked on the ESPN broadcast announcing the selections about the “emotional rollercoaster” of the past couple weeks — from a shocking first-round NCAA loss to Middle Tennessee State to this.
“From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs,” Izzo said. “And really, that emotional roller coaster is what I felt the last two weeks. … We’ll be back again, but there’s only one chance to get in the hall of fame, and this is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my lifetime.”
Izzo thanked his family, players and the coaches he has worked with for doing the “legwork” to make this possible. And he talked about the importance of his father, Carl, who passed away in December at age 90.
Izzo, who just completed his 21st season with the Spartans, has the 2000 national title, seven Final Fours and seven Big Ten regular-season titles to his name. He also has won the Big Ten tournament a record five times, is on a Big Ten-record 19-season NCAA streak, and has the second-most wins at a Big Ten school with a 524-205 record — behind only Bobby Knight (661), a 1991 inductee.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was established in 1959 and honors all levels of men’s and women’s basketball. There were 361 members — including individuals and teams — before the current class, including names such as Michael Jordan, John Wooden, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.
Izzo was one of 14 finalists for the class of 2016, voted on by a 24-member committee. Finalists needed at least 18 votes to get in.
Izzo is joined by Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry Reinsdorf, Sheryl Swoopes and Yao Ming in the class. Former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan missed the cut for a second straight year.
Zelmo Beaty, Darell Garretson, John McLendon and Cumberland Posey are posthumous inductees to the class.