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The state of Michigan's other commencement speaker

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President Obama wasn't the only celebrity speaker to deliver a keynote address at a college graduation this past weekend.

One day after Obama spoke at Michigan, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo took his turn at 1,500-student Adrian College about 90 miles southwest of Detroit.

Standing on a makeshift stage in the school's football stadium clad in a black cap and gown, Izzo addressed 200 graduates and a crowd of roughly 3,000 on Sunday for about 17 minutes. He encouraged graduates "don't be afraid to dream big," sharing the story of how his own rise from a small town as inspiration.

"I'm a guy, right here in front of you, that had no chance to be the head coach at Michigan State," he said, "coming from Iron Mountain, a town of 8,000 people, way up there where we just got television and radio a few years ago. I'm a guy that had no chance to do what I hope you get a chance to do.

"I got to live my dream. I hope you do, too."

This wasn't Izzo's first time behind a podium in a cap and gown. Izzo previously delivered the keynote address at Michigan State and at his alma mater Northern Michigan in 2001 after winning a championship the previous year.

When Adrian College president Jeff Docking visited Izzo at Michigan State and asked him if he'd be interested in delivering the commencement speech, the two hit it off so quickly that the Michigan State coach readily agreed. He also has ties to Adrian via first-year basketball coach Mark White, who previously coached at Detroit Renaissance High School.

"I've known him for a lot of years, and I recruited a lot of his kids," Izzo said. "I remind him that I never got one of his players, but I still like him, so that shows you he's a good guy."

The reaction to Izzo from the new graduates appears to have been positive.

"He’s an inspiration for all of us," 22-year-old Jennifer Perrin told the Adrian Daily Telegram. "A lot of us that come to Adrian are from small towns, just like him. I think we can really learn a lot from him."

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