Lakers News: Magic Johnson Pays Tribute To College Coach Jud Heathcote On Twitter
Lakers News: Magic Johnson Pays Tribute To College Coach Jud Heathcote On Twitter

Michigan State announced Monday that former head coach Jud Heathcote, the college coach of Magic Johnson, has died at the age of 90 in Spokane, Washington.

Heathcote was the head coach of the Spartans for 19 seasons, winning three Big Ten titles and appearing in nine NCAA tournaments.

Led by Heathcote, Johnson and the 1979 Michigan State team won the NCAA National Championship, beating Larry Bird and Indiana State for the school’s first men’s basketball national championship.

After learning of Heathcote’s death Johnson paid tribute to his former coach on his official Twitter account:

Heathcote began his college head coaching career at Montana in 1971, where he remained for five seasons before leaving for Michigan State where he remained until he retired 1995. He is responsible for hiring Tom Izzo, who took over for him after he retired and remains the head coach at Michigan State today.

Johnson played two seasons for Heathcote, averaging 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists. As Johnson stated in his tweets, Heathcote is largely responsible for making Johnson the player and the man that he is today and that is the case for many other players as well.

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