Longtime Michigan State head coach Jud Heathcote, who won a national championship and three Big Ten titles, has died, the school announced Monday. He was 90 years old.
The Spartans poached Heathcote from Montana in 1976 after he won back-to-back Big Sky championships. His greatest achievement at MSU was winning the 1979 national championship with a team led by Magic Johnson. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Heathcote remained at Michigan State until 1995 and was replaced by long-tenured assistant Tom Izzo upon his retirement.
“Without a doubt, he was one of the most influential people in my life, giving me a chance when no one else would,” Izzo said in a statement. “Any coaching success I’ve ever had is because of him. Long after he left Michigan State, he was still one of the first people I would call when I had a tough decision in coaching or life.”