Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo tests positive for COVID-19


Tom Izzo and Mel Tucker talk during practice/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Brendan Schabath, Men's Basketball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — Michigan State Athletics announced Monday that basketball coach Tom Izzo has tested positive for COVID-19. Izzo received a presumptive positive test that was later confirmed by a PCR test. 

“Although I have some minor symptoms, I remain in good health,” Izzo said in a press release on Monday. “I’ve been extremely diligent for many months now, wearing my mask in public and around the office, while adhering to social distancing guidelines.” 

The Michigan State men’s basketball team has been undergoing daily antigen testing per the Big Ten since Oct. 26. Every player, coach and staff member, including Izzo, had tested negative every day until Izzo’s positive test on Monday. “The timeline for me was tested for two weeks, felt great,” Izzo said. “Saturday I just felt a little bit of a cough, maybe the chills. Sunday, same thing… today (Monday) I got up and I felt the best I felt.”

Despite being diagnosed with the virus, Izzo is in good spirits and says he feels great. “I don’t have a sore throat. I’m not coughing a little bit.” 

Izzo is required by the Big Ten to stay in isolation for 10 days until Nov. 17 at the earliest. Associate head coach Dwayne Stephens will run the team practices during Izzo’s absence. 

Technology will allow me to stay connected with my staff and our players, and I’ll have plenty of time to watch film,” Izzo said. “I’ll listen to our outstanding medical staff and follow their directions and take all the steps necessary to return as soon as possible,” Izzo said.

It is remarkable that Izzo contracted the virus given that he has been one of the biggest advocates for wearing a mask, following protocol, and listening to medical advisors. 

“I would say that I’ve been an advocate of wearing our masks and practicing social distancing,” Izzo said. “I’m still an advocate of that.”

Izzo said even though it is unfortunate that he contracted the virus, it had not deterred him and he hopes it doesn’t deter others from doing their part to combat COVID-19. 

“Do what you can to control what you can control,” Izzo said. “If you control everything and things don’t work out, you can live with it.” 

The Big Ten has yet to release a schedule for the 2020-21 season, which is set to start on Nov. 25. Izzo is expected to be out of isolation and prepared for the season before then.