Naturally, there are a lot of nice pieces on Michigan State's Tom Izzo and his decision to remain a "lifer" when it comes to coaching college basketball. ESPN's Andy Katz recalls a visit to the coach's home last fall, SI's Alexander Wolff reminds us that Izzo belongs in East Lansing because his success here would never be duplicated elsewhere, and SB Nation's The Only Colors calls today the first day of the rest of the Spartans' basketball program's life.
All good stuff.
But the strongest indicator of what Izzo means to this college community was from The State, the school's student newspaper. Grabbing quotes from some undergrads on campus, an unassuming incoming freshman seemed to provide the best nugget as this week-long news story comes to a resolution:
On the second day of MSU’s Academic Orientation Program for incoming freshman, Megan Raubolt, who intends come to the university as a premedical student, said she was near Case Hall when she received news of Izzo’s decision on her phone. Moments later, she arrived at the Clara Bell Smith center to hear Izzo speak for himself.
"Last year, when I found out that I was going here, I got really excited after the basketball team’s (successes)," Raubolt said. "He has a name at MSU — he can’t be replaced."
With Magic Johnson 30 years removed from college, Izzo has become the face of Michigan State basketball. He's the most recognizable figure around town, and is a living breathing hometown God who unquestionably has more Final Four games to coach in, and more National Championships to win. His decision to spurn the Cavs, and a lucrative NBA coaching contract, gives college basketball a reason to brag.