Tom Izzo was honored for all of his success by getting an award named after one of the most ICONIC American figures in sports of all time:  Coach Wooden.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

Tom Izzo was honored for all of his success by getting an award named after one of the most ICONIC American figures in sports of all time: Coach Wooden. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

 

 

 

Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo received the Legends of Coaching Award Friday at the John R. Wooden Award Presentation Gala at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Presented since 1999, the award recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. Izzo was presented the award by Nan Wooden, Coach Wooden’s daughter.

 

Izzo recently completed his 16th season as head coach of the Spartan program, directing MSU to its 14th straight NCAA Tournament, good for the nation’s third-longest active streak. With a career record of 383-161 (.704), he’s the winningest coach in Michigan State history, while his 183 Big Ten victories rank sixth in league history. He has won National Coach of the Year honors four times and is a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year. Over the course of his career, Izzo has led MSU to six Big Ten regular-season championships, two Big Ten Tournament titles, six Final Fours and the 2000 NCAA Championship. In addition, he graduates 83 percent of his players that complete their eligibility.

 

When selecting the individual, the Wooden Award Committee considers a coach’s character, success rate on the court, graduating rate of student-athletes, his coaching philosophy and his identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award.

 

Past recipients of the Legends of Coach Award include: North Carolina’s Dean Smith (1999), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (2000), Arizona’s Lute Olson (2001), Louisville’s Denny Crum (2002), Kansas’ Roy Williams (2003), Stanford’s Mike Montgomery (2004), Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun (2005), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (2006), Purdue’s Gene Keady (2007), Tennessee’s Pat Summitt (2008) and Texas’ Rick Barnes (2009).

 

The 2011 John R. Wooden Awards for men’s and women’s college basketball were also presented at the Gala, with Connecticut’s Maya Moore and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette taking home college basketball’s top honors.