Longtime Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo and his family are giving the school’s hockey program a boost with a $1.1 million gift to help renovate the Munn Ice Arena.
“Our basketball program is so very fortunate to have the support of many individuals and donors who understand how important facilities and scholarships are to recruiting and competing for championships,” Izzo said in a statement. “I've been going to hockey games since I came to Michigan State and those games are some of my greatest memories. The Spartan family is fortunate to have Danton Cole leading the hockey program and we (Lupe and I) are grateful to be able to support our hockey program that is about to take off.”
MSU’s Board of Trustees gave approval last Friday for the $18.8 million construction project at Munn, according to the Detroit Free Press. The project has been in the works for about 10 years and just entered the design phase in 2018.
The renovated facility will include new locker rooms, weight room and training areas, shooting bays, a player lounge, coach and staff offices and a Hall of History. MSU’ Spartan Fund has pledged $10 million for the project, and Izzo is helping efforts to raise the funds.
“He's all hands on deck all the time, and not just for hockey but for all the sports,” said Cole, an MSU alum who enters his third season as hockey coach this fall. “It lends us a lot of credibility. And when he’s out there saying we're doing the right things – I expect to be believed, he is believed.”
The Izzos have a long history of philanthropy. In 2011 the family gave $1 million, and donated $500,000 for the media center in their name as part of the North End Zone expansion of Spartan Stadium in 2014.
“Through the years, Tom has guided transformation not only on the court through the success of our basketball program, but also has served many roles in guiding MSU into a world-class institution,” MSU athletic director Bill Beekman said. “Along with his wife Lupe, they have made a positive impact on the entire campus and community with their charitable works and gifts.”