Jud Heathcote Speaker Profile
Jud Heathcote Biography
Jud Heathcote is a former college basketball coach. He was a head coachfor 24 seasons at the collegiate level: five at Montana (1971-76) and19 at Michigan State (1976-95).
Jud Heathcote was born May 27, 1927 in Harvey, North Dakota, to MarionGrant Heathcote and Fawn (Walsh) Heathcote. Two years after his fatherdied in a diphtheria epidemic of 1930, he was sent to live with hismaternal grandparents in Manchester, Washington, where he lived theentire time he grew up.
The stint at Montana was the first for Jud as head coach of a collegevarsity program. Previously, he had coached at West Valley High Schoolin Spokane for 14 seasons, and at Washington State for seven years,five seasons as freshman coach and two seasons as frosh-varsity coach.
In the 1974-75 season at Montana, Jud Heathcote lead them to theirfirst Big Sky championship. The Grizzlies advanced to the NCAAregionals, losing to eventual tournament champion UCLA. Heathcote thenmoved to Michigan State in 1976 to begin the most successful phase ofhis coaching career.
In his third season at Michigan State, Heathcote guided the Spartans tothe 1979 NCAA Championship. The Spartans, led by Magic Johnson,defeated the Larry Bird-led Indiana State Sycamores in the title game.
In his 19 years at Michigan State, the Spartans made nine NCAA Men'sDivision I Basketball Championship tournaments and three NITappearances. As a coach, Heathcote was particularly noted for hisexcellent defensive strategies on the court and was second to none inblocking the opposing team from penetrating to the hoop.
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