Tuesday, June 22, 2021

MSU men's basketball announces changes to coaching staff

June 8, 2021
<p>Then-senior guard Matt McQuaid (20) dribbles the ball against Michigan. The Spartans beat the Wolverines, 65-60, at the United Center on March 17, 2019.</p>

Then-senior guard Matt McQuaid (20) dribbles the ball against Michigan. The Spartans beat the Wolverines, 65-60, at the United Center on March 17, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

The staple of Tom Izzo’s tenure as Michigan State's head coach has been stability, but MSU was forced to make changes to the coaching staff with assistant coach Dane Fife leaving to join his alma mater, Indiana.  

MSU men’s basketball announced via a press release they will be promoting Director of Recruiting Doug Wojcik to assistant coach and Executive Assistant Garrett Briningstool to Director of Basketball Operations and hiring three former players, Austin Thornton, Matt McQuaid and Mark Montgomery to the coaching staff.

Wojcik spent two years at MSU as an assistant coach in 2003-05 and returned as the recruiting coordinator in 2018. He will join Associate Head Coach Dwayne Stephens and Assistant Coach Mike Garland as one of Izzo’s go-to guys on the bench. 

"Doug has been a vital part of our success over the last three years since he returned to East Lansing,” Izzo said in the press release. “As our director of recruiting, he was the lead for us with an incoming recruiting class that is among the top in the nation.  I’ve known Doug for more than 20 years and he’s one of the best basketball minds I know.  It was natural for him to move into our assistant coaching position when that opened.  He’s got tremendous experience, is a man of incredible character and has a work ethic that is unmatched."

Briningstool will replace David Thomas as the Director of Basketball Operations after serving as an executive assistant to Izzo for the past two seasons. Thomas is leaving to work with former MSU player Paul Davis at Podium Risk Management, a financial consulting firm at which Davis is a partner.

"It’s bittersweet to see DT leave, but I’m also very happy for him, Toni and his family,” Izzo said in the release. “He’s been such a big part of our program for the last 20 years, first with a successful playing career here and being part of three Final Four teams, four Big Ten Championships, and, of course, a national championship team.  Over the last six seasons, since he returned as our director of operations, he has been one of the faces for our program and someone everyone immediately recognizes and loves for the person he is.  We’re really going to miss his presence around here, but know that he’ll be back and that he is, truly, forever a Spartan."

Montgomery, who played for MSU from 1988 to 1992, is returning to the staff as the recruiting coordinator after serving as an assistant coach under Izzo from 2001 to 2011. Montgomery was the coach of Northern Illinois for 10 years after leaving East Lansing and will return to focus on recruiting for the Spartans. 

"When we knew we were going to have openings on the staff after last season, Monty was one of the guys I had in mind,” Izzo said in the release.  “He played here under Jud and was on my staff for 10 years when we really got things going.  As a head coach for 10 years and someone who has more than 20 years of experience recruiting in college basketball, he will be a great fit for us as a recruiting coordinator."

Thornton played for Izzo from 2007-12 and was a part of two Final Four and three Big Ten championship teams while playing. Thornton will take over as the video coordinator and rejoin the staff after getting his coaching start as a graduate assistant at MSU in 2015. 

"Austin Thornton is one of the hardest working and most humble players I have coached during my time at Michigan State,” Izzo said. “I loved having him on staff as a graduate assistant and he’s worked really hard on the high school level to get himself ready to take a college job.  It’s great to have him back."

McQuaid will join the staff as the Assistant Director of Basketball Operations to begin his coaching career. McQuaid played professionally overseas for two years after graduating in 2019. McQuaid played for MSU from 2016-19 and was a part of two Big Ten title teams and a Final Four run. 

"I’m really excited to have Matt back with us and he really is excited to be on staff and start his professional career," Izzo said in the release. "He’ll be a great addition and someone who can relate to our players. I think this is the start of what could be a great career for Matt."

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