Tom and Lupe Izzo
In two decades, head coach Tom Izzo has firmly cemented Michigan State among the elite programs in college basketball. In 21 years directing the Spartans, Izzo has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including the 2000 NCAA National Championship, seven regular-season Big Ten Championships, five Big Ten Tournament titles, seven Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten-record 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. His immense success during the NCAA tournament has earned Izzo the nickname “Mr. March” among active coaches. It all combines to create a Hall of Fame career, as his election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was announced on April 4, 2016.
These accomplishments, however, are not what make Izzo one of the best in the game, but rather it is his insatiable desire to accomplish more. With a career record of 524-205, it’s easy to see that Izzo knows how to win, but he also knows how to win the right way. During his time directing the Spartan program, 85 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree. In the last 17 years, 50 Spartans have received their undergraduate degrees.
Izzo has also emerged as a teacher, not only to his players, but also his assistant coaches. Two current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Izzo, including Tom Crean (Indiana) and Mark Montgomery (Northern Illinois). In total, eight former assistants have earned head coaching jobs.
Even more important to Izzo’s success is his ability to take young talent and develop a player’s skills, allowing him to grow as a player and go on to play professionally. Under Izzo, Michigan State has had 16 players selected in the NBA Draft, including 15 since 2000, eight of whom were selected in the first round.
To read more about Tom Izzo’s impressive career with the Spartans, visit the MSU Athletics website.
Known for her unending service to the community, Lupe is an East Lansing native who has supported numerous causes throughout her adult life. She began her professional career at Rain Soft Water Treatment Company after attending Michigan State University, working first as a marketer before immersing herself in all aspects of the business.
During her tenure as a sales representative, Lupe earned many sales and service awards from the industry before eventually purchasing the company and successfully running it for more than 20 years. During this time, Lupe won the Michigan Minority Business award in 1990.
In the community, Lupe has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Lansing Food Bank and Volunteers of America. In addition, she has given her time to MSU Safe Place, Ele’s Place, St. Thomas Aquinas, Cristo Rey Community Center, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Coaches vs Cancer, and Sparrow Health System to help build the region’s first Pediatric Emergency Room.