Biggest MSU sports moments from 2017
The 2017 calendar year had a lot of moments in MSU athletics, ranging from a star player returning to a program, to four players getting kicked out of a program.
With this, here are some of the biggest moments in MSU athletics from 2017.
Football completes turnaround from a season ago
Going into the 2017 season, very few fans, reporters or analysts expected Mark Dantonio's team to win more than 6 or 7 games after MSU went 3-9 in 2016.
However, despite the dark cloud casted on this program because of the 2016 season and offseason issues, the Spartans went 10-3 with a young team and capped it off with a 42-17 win against Washington State in the Holiday Bowl.
And with 19 of the team's 22 starters returning for the 2018 season, the future of this program is looking bright.
Four football players get kicked off team for sexual assault
After the 2016 season, the Spartans were looking to move on from the 3-9 season and focus on 2017 with their young core.
Four players of that young core would be kicked off the team for alleged sexual assault, with Donnie Corley, Demetric Vance and Josh King being charged for an incident on Jan. 16, while Auston Robertson was kicked off for an incident on April 9.
Miles Bridges stays in East Lansing for sophomore season
As Tom Izzo's team is off to a blistering 14-1 start, there's one player at the center of it. That player is sophomore guard Miles Bridges.
Bridges had the opportunity to leave for the NBA after his freshman season in which he averaged 16.9 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and 1.5 blocks per game.
Instead, Bridges decided to stay for his sophomore season, and helped make MSU one of the favorites to win the NCAA championship for the 2017-18 season.
Jud Heathcote passes away
There's been two coaches who've been at the helm of the MSU men's basketball program in the past 42 years: Tom Izzo and Jud Heathcote.
Heathcote passed away on the night of Aug. 28 at the age of 90, leaving former players, coaches and fans mourning his death.
The second all-time winningest coach in MSU men's basketball history coached Spartan legends such as Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Greg Kelser and Steve Smith. But more than that, Heathcote taught his players life lessons, which is something that cements his legacy.
Men's basketball wears t-shirts to 'inspire others to have conversations' about social injustice
On media day on Oct. 11, Tom Izzo said in his press conference that if his team decides to do anything about social injustices in the United States, they'll do it as a team.
On Nov. 8, Izzo announced the team will wear t-shirts during the season to "inspire others to have conversations." The t-shirts have "We Talk, We Listen" on the front and a quote from Miles Bridges on the back that says, “It’s Not About Me, It’s About Us.”
Izzo said on Nov. 8 the team will explore different t-shirts or avenues of communication, but nothing new has come of yet.
Danton Cole is hired as new hockey coach
After the Spartans went 7-24-4 in the 2016-17 season, their fourth losing season in their last six, former head coach Tom Anastos resigned after compiling a 78-122-24 record in six seasons at the helm.
21 days later, MSU hockey found its new coach in Danton Cole, who played in the program from 1985 to 1989. Cole now has the Spartans off to a 8-9-1 start, which is more wins then MSU had the entire season last year.
Men's soccer and volleyball make Elite Eight runs, both coaches reach milestones
While most people were indulged in football and the hype of this year's men's basketball team, both the men's soccer and volleyball teams made deep postseason runs.
Men's soccer finished the season 13-3-4, losing to Indiana in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in penalty kicks. Volleyball also made a run to the Elite Eight, but ultimately fell to the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Big Ten foe Penn State.
Both head coaches of each time also reached milestones, with Cathy George becoming the all-time winningest coach in MSU volleyball history, while Damon Rensing reached career win No. 100.