Tom Izzo releases statement on the retirement of long-time assistant coach Mike Garland

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Tom Izzo met Mike Garland on his first night of college at Northern Michigan in the 1970’s. They have been friends and co-workers ever since. Now, Garland will ride off into the sunset, as he announced his retirement on Thursday, June 9.

Naturally, Tom Izzo released a statement on the retirement of his old friend, which you can see below:

“Words can’t truly express what Mike Garland mean to me. We’ve been friends since we met the first night in college and basically have lived the rest of our professional lives together. To say he’s just my friend doesn’t even scratch the surface of our relationship. He’s my brother for life.

“At the same time, we all know that life moves on and this is a great time for Mike to step into a deserved retirement after a tremendous career as a leader in college basketball. The impact he has had on not only this program, but also on nearly every young man he’s met while coaching in this sport is incredible. To say that Mike Garland was just a basketball coach would be a disservice. More than anything, Mike has been a teacher and a counselor who has provided life lessons to everyone who came through the doors at the Breslin Center, from players to managers to coaches to staff and definitely to me.

“Mike, his wonderful wife Cynthia and their beautiful family, Simone, Quentin and Michael Ray, have been a big part of our Spartan Family and I thank each of them for what they have done for us.

“If a friend is supposed to have your back, I always knew Mike had mine. Whether in college on the court together, driving his wife to the hospital when she delivered Quentin or just going for all the jogs through campus. Mike will be missed but never forgotten.

“It will be hard for me to come into the office at 7:30 every morning where Mike and I would sit in my office and just talk and not have him there. It will be hard for me to be out of the court or to look down to our bench and not hear his voice or see him there, but Mike Garland‘s presence at Michigan State is going to be felt for a long, long time.”

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