Soon, college basketball fans will learn which teams will be participating in the 2020 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, and can start prepping their March Madness brackets accordingly.
One school that is likely to be there is Michigan State. That's hardly a surprise; the last time they failed to make the NCAA tournament was back in 1997. That was head coach Tom Izzo's second season with the Spartans; this year has been his 25th.
Izzo's tenure with Michigan State has been one to remember. Izzo has brought the Spartans their second ever NCAA championship and kept them in contention for over two decades. And in doing so, he has made quite a bit of money. How much is Izzo worth?
Tom Izzo's Net Worth
It has been estimated that Tom Izzo has a net worth of as much as $13 million by Celebrity Net Worth. While this is not as high as, say, the estimated net worth of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, it is enough to make him easily one of the highest-paid college basketball coaches.
Tom Izzo's Career
As a player, Izzo made it to Division II college basketball, playing on Northern Michigan in the mid-70s. Not long after graduating, Izzo ended up as an assistant coach at his alma mater, starting from 1979 until 1983 when he was hired as an assistant coach at Michigan State. There, he was under the tutelage of head coach Jud Heathcote, who had won the program an NCAA championship in 1979.
With the exception of a brief stint at the University of Tulsa in 1986, Izzo remained with the Spartans for the rest of Heathcote's tenure, helping them make two Sweet 16s in that time.
After the 1995 tournament, when Michigan State bowed out in the first round, Heathcote announced his retirement. Izzo, having been with the program for over a decade, was an easy choice to take over as head coach.
Izzo's first couple of years taking as head coach were not bad by any means, but constitute a rocky start compared to where the program would end up. They failed to make the NCAA Division I tournament but got invited to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), advancing to the second round in each of his first two seasons. An improved third season meant Izzo's team made the 1998 NCAA tournament. They have not missed the tournament since.
A 20-7 record got Michigan State the No. 4 seed in the Eastern region in the 1998 tournament, and they easily handled Eastern Michigan and Princeton to make the Sweet 16 before falling to top-seeded UNC.
This quick ascent meant Michigan State had big expectations for the next season, and they delivered. An improved record nabbed them a No. 1 seed in the 1999 tournament, this time in the Midwest region. They made it back to the Sweet 16, still the furthest Izzo had made it as a coach, and beat Oklahoma to make the Elite Eight. There, they defeated Kentucky to make the Final Four, where they would lose a close game to Duke.
Izzo's Spartans were rapidly improving. In 2000, they were once again the top seed of the Midwest region of the tournament and absolutely dominated. They swept their region to once again make the Final Four where they easily beat Wisconsin. Facing Florida in the National Championship Game, they came out on top 89-76 for Izzo's first ever NCAA championship and Michigan State's second. Through the tournament, Michigan State won each game by at least 11 points.
In a few short years, Izzo had turned Michigan State into a powerhouse, champion and perennial contender. In 2001 they were once again a No. 1 seed in the tournament and made the Final Four for a third straight year (due in part to some upsets meaning Michigan State faced much lower-seeded opponents throughout). But they fell to Arizona in the Final Four and did not make the National Championship Game.
After these Final Four appearances, Michigan State underachieved for a few years and were seeded much more middle of the pack in the NCAA tournament. They did make the Elite Eight as a No. 7 seed in 2003 but that was sandwiched between two first-round exits in 2002 and 2004.
They rebounded in the 2004-05 season. As a fifth seed, their highest seeding since 2001, they upset top-seeded Duke in the Sweet 16 and then shocked No. 2 Kentucky in double overtime in the Elite Eight to make another Final Four. There, they lost to eventual champion UNC.
By this point, even if Michigan State would underperform at a tournament, their appearance was consistent. Sixth-seeded Michigan State was upset by George Mason in 2006 and fell in the second round as a ninth seed in 2007, but even those seasons made it 10 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament for the Spartans. In 2008, the Spartans' 11th consecutive tournament appearance, they were the fifth seed and made it to the Sweet 16 before falling to top-seeded Memphis.
That 2008 tournament showed that more was to be expected from this Michigan State team. A greatly improved 2008-09 season and 26-6 record got them the second seed in the Midwest region. A close win against No. 3 Kansas in the Sweet 16 got them to the Elite Eight, where they took down top-seeded Louisville. In the Final Four they upset another No. 1 seed, UConn, to make Izzo's second National Championship Game. There, they lost to UNC.
Izzo's tenure with the Spartans has been something incredibly rare in sports: consistent. From here, Izzo went into the 2010s and proceeded to have another decade with a consistently competitive team that frequently made it deep into the tournament. Entering the first tournament of the new decade, Izzo's Michigan State team proceeded to make another Final Four, losing to Butler.
Though the Spartans underachieved in 2010-11 and fell in the first round of the tournament, the year after began a four-year streak of making at least the final 16. In 2012 they made it to the Sweet 16 as a top seed in the West region before being upset by Louisville, and made it back there as a No. 3 seed in 2013, ultimately losing to Duke.
The 2013-14 team made it even further despite being a lower seed than in those years, upsetting top-seeded Virginia in the Sweet 16 before falling to UConn in the Elite Eight. The next year, a 23-11 record got them an even lower seed (seventh in the East region). But multiple upsets - beating No. 2 Virginia in the second round, No. 3 Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 and No. 4 Louisville in the Elite Eight - got them to the Final Four for the seventh time in Izzo's career (they lost to Duke, who went on to win the championship).
The 2015-16 season was a deeply disappointing inverse of the couple of seasons for Michigan State. A stellar 29-5 record led to them being named the second seed in the Midwest region, and they were predicted to be a real force in the tournament. But they were stunned in the first round, as No. 15 Middle Tennessee defeated them 90-81. It is still considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.
After this shocking defeat, Michigan State had some seasons that were, at least for them, disappointing. A No. 9 seed in the 2017 tournament, they were out by the second round, and while more was expected of them in the 2018 tournament as a No. 3 seed they were once again out by the second tournament, upset by Syracuse.
But the 2018-19 season was a rebound one for Izzo and Michigan State. With the No. 2 seed in the East for the NCAA tournament, they breezed past Bradley, Minnesota and LSU to take on top-seeded Duke in the Elite Eight. Though Duke came into the tournament a heavy favorite for the title, Michigan State played a gruelingly tough game against them and came out on top by a single point, 68-67. In Izzo's eighth Final Four appearance as Michigan State head coach, they fell to upstart Texas Tech.
After their Final Four appearance, expectations were high enough that the Associated Press had Michigan State ranked as the No. 1 team in their preseason poll.
Tom Izzo's Contract: How Much Does He Make?
Izzo was ranked as the third highest paid college basketball coach in 2018, but more recent information from Stadium has him ranked ninth right now. That, however, is more based on other coaches getting raises, as Izzo still makes a similar salary.
In breaking down Izzo's current compensation of $3.957 million, Stadium claims that $442,900 of that is his base salary. He also receives $3.09 million in supplemental income. While his contract's terms would end June 30, 2026, Stadium also claims that his contract terms renew for an additional year every June 30 unless Michigan State provides Izzo with written notice that they will not be extending the terms.