Published March 29, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Monday he is happy with his current job, responding to a report that Oregon wants to make him the richest coach in the nation.
KEZI-TV in Eugene, Ore., citing anonymous sources, reported the school plans to offer Izzo college basketball's largest contract with help from Nike Inc. co-founder Phil Knight.
"I have not been contacted," Izzo told The Associated Press on Monday. "I'm happy here and I'm focused on trying to win another national championship."
Izzo, who led the Spartans to a title a decade ago, has them back in the Final Four for the sixth time in 12 seasons, a string of success accomplished only by UCLA's John Wooden and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski in NCAA history.
Kentucky gave John Calipari a $31.65 million, eight-year contract last year, the largest known deal for a college basketball coach. Private schools, such as Duke, aren't required by law to reveal what it pays coaches.
Izzo is earning more than $3 million per season at Michigan State and is under contract through 2016.
The latest version of his deal was signed on Sept. 4, 2009, and includes a seven-year rollover contract. Izzo has made $200,000 in performance bonuses this season and will get another $150,000 if the Spartans win the national championship.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is used to Izzo's name being mentioned for openings in what has become a rite of spring.
"He has been talked about before in this way and will be again," Hollis said in a telephone interview Monday night. "We have to consider that part of the deal when you have the best college basketball coach in the country. I talk to him all the time and I know he is totally focused on winning another national championship and taking the program to a higher level."
Oregon dismissed Ernie Kent, its winningest coach, two weeks ago after 13 seasons at his alma mater. The Ducks were 16-16 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 last season.
The Atlanta Hawks once tried to lure Izzo to the NBA and his name has been mentioned over the years as a candidate to lead Kentucky and Kansas, among other schools.
Izzo is in his 15th season at Michigan State, where he was promoted to replace Jud Heathcote when he retired following the 1994-95 season.
He helped the Spartans beat Tennessee on Sunday, earning a trip to Indianapolis — where he won the school's second national title in 2000 — and a matchup with the hometown Butler Bulldogs.