Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Michigan State brings back Thomas Kelley to fill assistant coach vacancy

June 3, 2022
<p>Michigan State men&#x27;s basketball head coach Tom Izzo walks down the court after arguing a call during the Spartans&#x27; 79-67 win over Nebraska on Jan. 5, 2022.</p>

Michigan State men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo walks down the court after arguing a call during the Spartans' 79-67 win over Nebraska on Jan. 5, 2022.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Head coach Tom Izzo has filled a void in his coaching staff, adding former Western Michigan assistant Thomas Kelley as an assistant coach on the Michigan State bench. The position opened in early April when former associate head coach Dwayne Stephens accepted a position as WMU’s head coach. 

Kelley returns to East Lansing after playing for Michigan State from 1994 to 1999. He was a part of Izzo’s first Final Four appearance in the 1998-99 season where he averaged 5.1 points per game off the bench. Kelley also was a graduate assistant for two seasons under Izzo. 

"It's always been a thrill for me when I can bring a former player back to Michigan State and that's definitely the case with Thomas coming back as an assistant on my staff," Izzo said in a statement. "I've known Thomas for nearly 30 years, from recruiting him, coaching him and then having him on my staff when he started his career. 

"He was a player on my first Final Four team here and when he came back as a graduate assistant in 2015, you could tell from the jump that he was going to be a great coach, from his work on film, his work on the floor with the team and his ability to communicate with the players. I always thought he'd be a terrific coach and he was able to grow and learn more during his time at Western Michigan. It's great to have him back with his Spartan family."

Kelley spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Western Michigan. Prior to his first return to MSU in 2015, he played 15 seasons overseas in Amsterdam, Israel, Turkey, Austria, Hungary and Finland. 

Kelley joins Mark Montgomery, Doug Wojcik and Mike Garland as the four coaches on Izzo’s staff for the 2022-23 season.

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Michigan State brings back Thomas Kelley to fill assistant coach vacancy” on social media.