Legendary basketball coach Jud Heathcote died at the age of 90 years old in Spokane, Monday night. Heathcote played college basketball at Washington State from 1946-1949. He then coached West Valley High School from 1950-1964. He would later become an assistant at WSU before earning his first college head coaching gig at Montana in 1971. He later moved out to East Lansing and coached the Spartans from 1976-1995. He led Michigan State to a National Championship in 1979. He also led Michigan State to three Big Ten titles. His most notable recruit is Magic Johnson.
Heathcote has left an indeliable mark in the world of basketball. His coaching tree consists of Tom Izzo, Scott Skiles, Don Monson and Tom Crean.
During retirement, Heathcote returned to the Spokane area where he attended Gonzaga basketball games regularly.
Here is how social media is reacting to Heathcote's death:
MSU Athletics is sad to announce that Jud Heathcote passed away Monday at the age of 90. pic.twitter.com/DHPW6aA5q0— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) August 29, 2017
Just heard of the passing of Michigan State's Jud Heathcote, a coaching icon. A man of gruffness, toughness & a terrific sense of humor. RIP— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) August 29, 2017
Jud Heathcote at a campus rally after MSU won the 1979 NCAA basketball championship pic.twitter.com/seBj3LIymZ— Michigan's Past (@MichiganHist) August 29, 2017
Michigan State men’s basketball coaches since 1976:— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) August 29, 2017
Tom Izzo https://t.co/Ik6gAiJpnd
Jud was a phenomenal influencer, teacher and basketball mind. Legend lost. RIP, coach. https://t.co/rVVsQ2l0ke— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 29, 2017
There was not a bigger advocate for coaches than Jud Heathcote. https://t.co/TG0aIHneKh— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) August 29, 2017
The only two basketball coaches Michigan State has had over last 42 years. Jud Heathcote and a kid he gave a $7K salary to in 1983. pic.twitter.com/P6rG935Abi— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 29, 2017