Tom Izzo reacts to Mark Montgomery’s departure to Detroit Mercy

Michigan State v North Carolina
Michigan State v North Carolina / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard that Michigan State basketball assistant coach Mark Montgomery is leaving the program and taking over as head coach at Detroit Mercy. While this move isn’t all that surprising, it is tough to see him go after all the history he’s had at MSU. He played for four years and coached for 13 and has helped bring many great memories to East Lansing.

In true Tom Izzo fashion, he had a lot of good things to say about Montgomery after this news was released. In fact, Izzo’s statement was included in the official Detroit Mercy press release.

Here’s the full statement from Izzo, provided by Stephen Brooks of 247Sports.

Izzo shared in the above release, “I’m thrilled for Monty and very excited for the opportunity he has as the head coach at University Detroit Mercy.” Izzo continued, “He is one of the best and brightest coaches I’ve worked with during my career.”

I think there’s a lot of truth to that second quote simply based on Mark’s playing history. He was a four-year starter at MSU under Jud Heathcote, so he’s able to draw on that experience to really help develop his players. This was best seen when Montgomery was on Izzo’s staff from 2001-2011 when Michigan State won three Big Ten championships and made it to three Final Fours.

But it was how Izzo wrapped up his statement that was the best part of what he shared. Izzo concluded his statement by saying, “While I’m sad to see him leave, I’m happy for him, his wife Alex and their family.”

This is exactly how I feel and how I hope all of Spartan Nation feels. Sure the last couple years haven’t been the best for the program, but Mark has contributed to so many great moments both as a player and as a coach. That alone deserves respect and appreciation from Spartan fans, and I know I, along with many other fans, will be cheering him and Detroit Mercy on.