Legendary MSU Coach Jud Heathcote Dead at 90
Jud Heathcote, who led the Michigan State Spartans to their first NCAA Basketball championship in 1979, died Monday evening at the age of 90.
George Melvin Heathcote died in Spokane, Washington, where he had lived since retiring from MSU in 1995. Heathcote coached the Spartans for 19 years.
Probably Heathcote's two biggest accomplishments aside from the title, were recruiting local Lansing phenom, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, in 1977, which culminated in the 1979 championship, and hiring an assistant coach from Northern Michigan in 1983, Tom Izzo, for $7,000 a year.
"The basketball world is a sadder place today with the passing of Jud Heathcote, No one cared more about the welfare of the game than Jud. He was a coach's coach and a mentor to many." - MSU Coach Tom Izzo, who succeeded Heathcote in 1995.