East Lansing — If you’ve walked into a stadium or an arena at Michigan State, odds are Greg Ianni had a hand in creating the environment that exists for not only the fans, but the many student-athletes who have competed for the Spartans.
Michigan State’s deputy athletic director has been instrumental in many of the improvements made over the years to Spartan Stadium, the Breslin Center, Munn Ice Arena and numerous other athletic facilities.
On Tuesday, Ianni announced he was retiring, effective Jan. 31, 2019. He will remain with the university in an advisory role to athletic director Bill Beekman for the remainder of his contract, which ends June 30, 2019.
“The past 26 years have been an amazing ride of challenges, victories, defeats and memorable experiences,” Ianni said in a statement. “But above everything else, what I will remember most are the incredible people I have been blessed to work with. I’ve been planning this retirement for a couple years now, and the time is right for me and my family to look forward to the next adventure in our lives.”
Ianni currently oversees the Spartans’ athletic facilities and works toward the development of long-range plans for improving those sites. In addition to his facilities duties, Ianni administers event management for all sports, as well as equipment, IT and human resources. He also serves as the sport supervisor for men’s and women’s golf and assists with football.
“On behalf of the entire Michigan State Athletic Department I’d like to thank Greg Ianni for his many years of service,” Beekman said. “He’s provided outstanding leadership for the department and has played an instrumental role in the construction and renovation of our first-class athletic facilities. We wish him, his wife Jamie and the entire Ianni family many years of happiness in their newest life chapter.”
Ianni is a 1975 graduate of Michigan State, where he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in baseball in 1973. Ianni returned to his alma mater in 1993. His two children, Allison (volleyball, 2006) and Anthony (men’s basketball, 2012) earned varsity letters at Michigan State.
"Proud of my Dad! He & his team put MSU athletics on the map w/among College Athletics Elite when it comes to facilities & Management," Anthony Ianni said on Twitter. "He’s best in the business & there won’t be anyone to top what he’s done in his career at MSU. I know my kids are excited for his retirement."
Among the projects Ianni has played a significant role, the renovations of Spartan Stadium, Jenison Field House, Munn Ice Arena, the football practice fields, and the men's and women's basketball locker rooms are near the top of the list. He also was involved in the construction of the Skandalaris Football Center, the North End Zone Project at Spartan Stadium, the Clara Bell Smith Academic Center, the Berkowitz Basketball Complex, the Lasch Golf Center and the Gilbert Pavilion/Izzo Hall of History.
The Old College Field project, which featured new homes for soccer (DeMartin Stadium), baseball (McLane Stadium) and softball (Secchia Stadium) in MSU's most historic venue, was completed in 2011.
“Want to congratulate Greg Ianni on his retirement,” football coach Mark Dantonio said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “He’s been really instrumental in building so many of the different things — this building that we’re sitting in right now, the Skandalaris building, the practice facilities, all the different things that have gone on. So, we want to congratulate him and wish him the very best.
“He’s been here since I’ve been back as the head coach and was here prior to that. Long standing member of the Spartans community.”