Michigan State HC Tom Izzo brings back former player

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has himself a new assistant coach and it is a name that many Spartans fans will remember.

On Friday, Michigan State announced that Izzo has hired Thomas Kelley as an assistant coach.

“It’s always been a thrill for me when I can bring a former player back to Michigan State and that’s definitely the case with Thomas coming back as an assistant on my staff,” Izzo said in a statement. “I’ve known Thomas for nearly 30 years, from recruiting him, coaching him and then having him on my staff when he started his career.

“He was a player on my first Final Four team here and when he came back as a graduate assistant in 2015, you could tell from the jump that he was going to be a great coach, from his work on film, his work on the floor with the team and his ability to communicate with the players. I always thought he’d be a terrific coach and he was able to grow and learn more during his time at Western Michigan. It’s great to have him back with his Spartan family.”

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From Michigan State:

Kelley started his coaching career at Michigan State in 2015-16, joining Izzo’s staff as a graduate manager alongside former Spartan Austin Thornton, who is now the video coordinator for the program.  During his three seasons at MSU, Kelley was responsible for breaking down film, assisting with scouting and player development. The Spartans won two Big Ten Championships and reached three NCAA Tournaments during that time.

Kelley played at Michigan State from 1994-99, earning his bachelor’s degree in communications. He began his playing career under legendary head coach Jud Heathcote. As a fifth-year senior in 1998-99, he was part of Izzo’s first Final Four team, helping to lead the Spartans to a 33-5 overall record, the No. 2 national ranking by the Associated Press and a Big Ten Championship. During his playing days, the Spartans appeared in three NCAA Tournaments and two National Invitation Tournaments (NIT).

After his collegiate career, Kelley played 15 seasons overseas in Holland, Israel, Turkey, Austria, Hungary and Finland.

A native of Grand, Rapids, Mich., Kelley played prep ball at Grand Rapids Union High School.

Nation, do you think this is a good hire for Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans?

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