Tom Izzo is the latest notable sports figure to contract the coronavirus. On Monday, the Michigan State athletic department announced the basketball coach tested positive for COVID-19. Izzo has very outspoken about wearing a mask in public as soon as the pandemic began.
“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19. Although I have some minor symptoms, I remain in good health," Izzo said in a statement. "I’ve been extremely diligent for many months now, wearing my mask in public and around the office, while adhering to social distancing guidelines." Izzo went to say that he's been "racking my brain, trying to figure out if there was a time where I let my guard down for just an instance." He also noted that his diagnosis shows the "power of the virus" and anyone would be "hard-pressed to find a coach who’s taken more precautions than I have, following all the protocols put in place by our medical team, and yet I still contracted the virus."
It was reported that no other members of the Michigan State basketball team have tested positive for the virus. Izzo is now in isolation, and associate head coach Dwayne Stephens will run practices. According to USA Today, Stephen's father, Dwayne Stephens Sr., died back in April due to complications of COVID-19.
"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. I appreciate the support from my family, my team and the Michigan State fan base." Izzo then added he wanted everyone to "listen to the medical experts and follow their advice."
Michigan State is scheduled to play Virginia on Dec. 9 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The team is looking to pick up where they left off as they qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Izzo has been with the Spartans since 1995 and has won 302 games. He led the team to 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances eight Final Four Appearances and two appearances in the national championship while winning it all in 2000.