Spokane's Jud Heathcote, who coached Michigan State to NCAA titl - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Spokane's Jud Heathcote, who coached Michigan State to NCAA title, dies at 90

Jud Heathcote passed away on Monday in Spokane Jud Heathcote passed away on Monday in Spokane

Spokane's Jud Heathcote, who led Michigan State and Magic Johnson to the 1979 NCAA championship, has died. He was 90. The school says Heathcote died Monday in Spokane.

Heathcote played basketball at Washington State University from 1946-1949 and after his time in Pullman, he became the head basketball coach at West Valley High School from 1950-1964. Heathcote led West Valley to four state tournaments during his tenure.

Heathcote would then head back to Washington State to coach the Cougars' freshman team for five seasons and then their frosh-varsity team for two seasons. He made his collegiate head coaching debut at Montana in 1971, leading the Grizzlies to their first Big Sky Conference championship in the 1974-1975 season.

Heathcote was probably most well known for his time at Michigan State, where he coached Magic Johnson and won the 1979 NCAA national championship. Heathcote won three Big Ten titles with the Spartans and appeared in nine NCAA tournaments during his 19-year career at Michigan State.
    
Current Spartans head coach Tom Izzo says the basketball world is a sadder place because of his mentor's death, adding no one cared more about the welfare of the game than Heathcote. Izzo helped the Spartans win their second NCAA basketball title in 2000 and often leaned on Heathcote for advice, counsel and humor.

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