It took Tom Izzo just under a month to find a replacement for Mark Montgomery, who took the head coaching gig at Northern Illinois University after spending 10 seasons as Izzo's top assistant. Izzo announced this week Wednesday that he has hired Dane Fife, a former star at Indiana University and head coach at IPFW. As expected, Izzo sang Fife high praises in announcing him to the staff:â†µ
"His toughness, competitive spirit and enthusiasm will be great additions to our staff. Having played at Indiana and growing up in Michigan , he knows the Big Ten well and has recruited the area. As a player, he understands the commitment and dedication needed to reach a Final Four.â†µ
"I’ve enjoyed watching him grow as a coach over the last six years. Having played him five times, I witnessed first hand the manner in which he directed his program. It’s no surprise that he’s been successful as a coach since he was born into a coaching family. With his father Dan as one of the top high school coaches in Michigan , Dane has understood coaching since he was born. It’s a very athletic family as both his brothers played college basketball, Dugan at Michigan and Jeremy at Grand Valley State . Plus, Dane’s two-sport background and football experience only adds to his toughness and versatility.â†µ
"In the end, Dane’s honesty, hard work and commitment to Michigan State , make him and his beautiful family the perfect mix to join our staff."â†µ
Dane Fife was 82-97 as head coach at IPFW, where he was named head coach at the ripe age of 25-years-old, becoming the youngest coach in Division 1 basketball. As a player, he helped guide Indiana to the National Championship game in 2002 and was the Big Ten's co-Defensive Player of the Year his senior year. A strong addition to the coaching staff for Tom Izzo.