Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Izzo to lose another assistant

Garland to accept Cleveland State job

April 16, 2003
Head coach Tom Izzo, right, talks with assistant coach Mike Garland during a game at Breslin Center. Garland is expected to accept the head-coaching position at Cleveland State. —

MSU assistant coach Mike Garland is en route to Cleveland State to become the Vikings' new men's basketball head coach.

The former assistant coach told senior Brian Westrick the news, as the two crossed paths in the Union on Tuesday morning.

Garland's departure means MSU will have two vacancies to fill on its coaching staff next season. Associate head coach Brian Gregory left the team last Wednesday to take the head-coaching job at Dayton.

"Obviously, it's going to be a tough loss losing those two guys," Westrick said. "They brought a lot to the team. I remember (Garland) used to give speeches before every game, and that was his biggest asset."

Garland was in the running along with Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt, but the latter withdrew his name from consideration.

"It's just a matter of working out details with the contract," Cleveland State Athletic Director Lee Reed said. "Mike Garland is outstanding in terms of player development - in communication with student athletes. He was so passionate about our job and wanting to be here. He's ready for this opportunity."

Cleveland State is a member of the nine-team Horizon League and finished 8-22 this past season under head coach Rollie Massimino, who coached the Vikings for the past seven years. At Cleveland State, Massimino was unable to duplicate the success he had while leading Villanova to an improbable 1985 NCAA title. After a promising start, the Cleveland State program sputtered, going 90-113 during Massimino's tenure.

Meanwhile, Garland was an MSU assistant coach for the past seven years, helping the Spartans to five NCAA tournaments, four Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten tournament championships, three Final Fours and an NCAA championship.

He was also in charge of scouting and recruiting, game analysis and academics.

Prior to arriving in East Lansing, Garland coached at Belleville High, where he compiled a 153-49 record. Both Garland and MSU men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo played on the Northern Michigan men's basketball team during their college days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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