Minneapolis, Minn. – One of only five coaches in history to lead a team to the NCAA Final Four eight times or more, Michigan State University head coach Tom Izzo is the 2019 recipient of the Metropolitan Award presented by Nike for long and outstanding service to men’s college basketball.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches will present the storied award, first presented in 1941, to Izzo at the annual AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) at the Main Auditorium at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The awards show will be broadcast live by Stadium (https://watchstadium.com).
Izzo, whose team won the NCAA championship in 2000, goes after another national title this weekend in the 2019 NCAA Final Four with the Spartans meeting Texas Tech in a semifinal game on Saturday. MSU’s other Final Four appearances were in 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015.
The longest tenured head coach in the Big Ten, Izzo succeeded his mentor, Jud Heathcote, in 1995 and has been an integral part of the program for 36 years, including 24 as head coach. During that time the Spartans have won nine regular season Big Ten titles and have a string of 22 straight NCAA tournament berths.
Heading to the Final Four with a 32-6 won-lost record, Izzo won his 600th game this season and now has a career record of 606 wins and 231 losses, a .724 winning percentage.
The MSU coach, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, has been a leader in college basketball, having served on the NABC board of directors including a term as president and has been a member of the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee.
A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Izzo and his college roommate, former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci, have raised funds for their alma mater, Iron Mountain High School, including the construction of a fitness center. He is also active in the NABC Coaches vs. Cancer program, the Volunteers of America and the Sparrow Hospital.
In 2001, Izzo received honorary degrees from Northern Michigan and Michigan State and delivered the commencement address at both institutions.
The Metropolitan Award has a long history which began in New York City. The Metropolitan Basketball Association presented its first Metropolitan Award in 1941 to legendary City College of New York coach Nat Holman and followed that a year later with Ned Irish, who first brought college basketball to Madison Square Garden.
Over eight decades, the most famous names in men’s college basketball have been honored with the award, including Adolph Rupp, Clair Bee, Henry Iba, John Wooden and Dave Gavitt.
A complete list of Metropolitan Award recipients is available at http://www.nabc.org/awards/metropolitan.