Legendary Former Grizzly Basketball Coach Jud Heathcoate Dies At 90
"Jud Heathcote, who led Michigan State and Magic Johnson to the 1979 NCAA championship, has died. He was 90.
The school says Heathcote died Monday in Spokane, Washington.
Spartans coach Tom Izzo was hired by Heathcote and was promoted to replace him when he retired in 1995.
Heathcote won three Big Ten titles and appeared in nine NCAA tournaments during his 19-year career at Michigan State. He got his start as a college head coach in 1971 at Montana, where he spent five seasons.
Heathcote's teams made a combined 10 NCAA tournament appearances, including the Spartans squad, led by Johnson, that won it all in 1978-79.
The stint at Montana was the first for Heathcote as head coach of a college varsity program. Previously, he had coached at West Valley High School in Spokane, Washington for 14 seasons, and at Washington State University for seven years, five seasons as freshman coach and two seasons as frosh-varsity coach.
In the 1974–75 season at Montana, he led them to their first Big Sky Conference championship. The Grizzlies advanced to the NCAA Regionals, losing to eventual tournament champion UCLA.