To say that Jud Heathcote was a coaching icon at Michigan State University would be an understatement.
To many, he was a legend and he changed people’s lives for the better.
Throughout the 2017-18 season, per a release from the Michigan State basketball program, the Spartans will wear a patch on its uniforms honoring Heathcote. The final design for the patch is set to be unveiled at a later date.
According to the release, the Michigan State-Purdue game scheduled for Feb. 10 in East Lansing will be the Jud Heathcote Tribute Game. From 1983-95, current Spartan head coach Tom Izzo was an assistant under Heathcote.
Since Heathcote’s death, Izzo has talked a lot about the legendary head coach and what he meant to not just his players at the time, but Izzo, as well.
“Jud might be gone, but he will live on as a part of our basketball program and our university as we dedicate the upcoming season to his memory,” said MSU head coach Tom Izzo, per the release. “Every time we take the court, the patches on the uniforms will remind us of the man who set a great foundation for anything we accomplish now. I can’t wait for that Tribute Game against Purdue. I look forward to seeing so many of his former players paying their respect to a man to whom they owe so much. I know that weekend will involve amazing stories, laughter and tears. Jud had some great battles against the Boilermakers, and I’m hopeful that Gene Keady, one of his closest friends in the profession, will be able to join us for that game.”
Heathcote has a scheduled memorial service for Sept. 23, in Spokane, Wash. The service will be open to the public.