Former Michigan State head coach Jud Heathcote recently passed away this summer. The legendary Spartans coach led the team to a NCAA Title in 1979 and won 340 games while at Michigan State. Heathcote also hired Tom Izzo as an assistant coach in 80s, promoting him to head coach when he retired in 1995.
The former coach had a huge impact on Michigan State’s basketball program, current head coach Tom Izzo, and athletic director Mark Hollis. Now the team will honor Heathcote this upcoming season.
As a way to honor the legendary coach, the Spartans will wear a uniform patch this season. While the patch has been announced, the design has yet to be revealed.
The school also announced that they will be hosting a tribute game at the Breslin Center to honor the late coach. The game will be on February 10 and will also be the teams annual former player reunion day, bringing back former players that played for Heathcote. Current head coach Tom Izzo also hopes that former Purdue coach Gene Keady, a close friend of Heathcote’s, will be able to attend the event.
“Jud might be gone, but he will live on as a part of our basketball program and our university as we dedicate the upcoming season to his memory,” said Izzo. “Every time we take the court, the patches on the uniforms will remind us of the man who set a great foundation for anything we accomplish now.”
Izzo also went on about looking forward to the tribute game this winter.
“I can’t wait for that Tribute Game against Purdue. I look forward to seeing so many of his former players paying their respect to a man to whom they owe so much. I know that weekend will involve amazing stories, laughter and tears. Jud had some great battles against the Boilermakers.”