MSU's Tom Izzo a semifinalist for Naismith Coach of the Year Award
East Lansing – Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award on Monday.
The Spartans won a share of the Big Ten championship by beating Michigan on Saturday, the ninth conference title for Izzo, who is in his 24th season leading Michigan State.
He is joined on the list of candidates by nine other coaches, including Purdue’s Matt Painter.
Izzo has been named national coach of the year by several other groups over his career, including the Associated Press and USBWA in 1998 as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2001 and 2012. He’s earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998, 2009 and 2012.
In addition to Izzo and Painter, the semifinalists include Tony Bennett (Virginia), John Calipari (Kentucky), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Kelvin Sampson (Houston) and Mike Young (Wofford).
No. 6 Michigan State opens the Big Ten tournament at 12:30 p.m. Friday in Chicago against the winner of Thursday’s game between Ohio State and Indiana.