Michigan State’s Tom Izzo wins humanitarian award

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Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, an eight-time national Coach of the Year and the longest-tenured Big Ten men’s basketball coach ever, will be honored at the 2013 College Basketball Awards April 15 in Oklahoma City as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

Izzo, who has spent nearly two decades as the head coach at Michigan State and has led his team to a national championship and six trips to the Final Four, will be honored the same night as the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year, Henry Iba Coach of the Year, and Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year. The event will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and is presented by Devon Energy and produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City based non-profit charitable foundation.

The Tisdale Humanitarian Award honors an individual involved in college basketball who has made a significant positive impact on society. Legendary ESPN and hall of fame announcer Dick Vitale received the inaugural award in 2011 and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was honored last year. The award’s namesake, Wayman Tisdale, died in May 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer.
“Few coaches in collegiate athletics have endured and excelled like Tom Izzo,” says David Gillikin, 2012 chairman of the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award Advisory Board. “His record of achieving the highest levels of success on the court together with his focus and success in graduating his players and positively impacting the community make him the ideal selection and adds another very significant name to the growing list of Tisdale Humanitarian honorees.”
Coach Izzo’s focus on helping his players to be successful students as well as successful athletes has helped him achieve an 80 percent graduation rate among players who complete their eligibility. In addition, Izzo is also an active volunteer in the community. Among his many efforts, he is very involved in raising funds for Coaches Vs. Cancer, Volunteers of America, Sparrow Hospital, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research. In 2009, Izzo was presented the Coaches Vs. Cancer Champion Award, recognizing his work and leadership in the fight to save lives from cancer making his selection very appropriate for the Tisdale honor.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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