MSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo
Well, I too could just say ‘ditto,’ because everybody seems to have the same line of thought on this. We’ve been in a lot of meetings; I know Coach D and I talked a lot. There was a big concern when there’s a void, and I think what President Engler talked about was the integrity, I think that’s going to be very important right now as we move forward. From day one, he made an effort to meet with all these great coaches that we have behind us. I know all of our assistant coaches are back there, it seems like people from every part of our athletic department are here and that’s the unity that I think we need. He found a way to meet with all of them and because I guess I’m the senior member here as far as having been here the longest, a lot of those people talked to me about how impressed they were; I think that’s where the ball started to get rolling on why he could be the next AD. He’s initially coming from outside athletics in a way, but as you look around the country that’s getting to be pretty common now. The day of the old football coach (being AD) – George (Perles) I loved – but it just doesn’t seem to be as acceptable with all the complexity that you have to deal with in modern day athletics.
But using and examining everything that he has done for us, I think there’s no question that he has the skills to be a successful AD. What do those take? Number one would be the focus on the student-athlete, I think that’s becoming more and more apparent. I guess what I’ve appreciated with Bill in our meetings that we’ve had, and I use this with my campers is ‘You have to learn to listen and listen to learn.’ And yet, I think as coaches, I think we talk more than we listen. I felt it was incredible the way Bill has listened to all of the people and every coach that came up to me from wrestling to rowing to basketball to football, talked about the fact that he could listen and wanted to make the changes that were necessary.
I also, before I close, would like to thank the Board. I think this time right now, having unanimous decisions on things is imperative as we heal and try to advance. I think the Board having a unanimous decision shows the strength – and they’ve dealt with Bill more than we have – and that’s what I think is great about this. So, Bill, you and your family, I want to tell you that you have 25 coaches, a bunch assistant coaches and a bunch of workers that are probably going to work as hard as we can work to make your stint successful. A good assistant makes the head coach look good, well, you’re our head coach, and we’re going to do our best to make you look good and want to thank you and welcome you the best we can. Thank you.
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