Michigan State promotes assistant Dwayne Stephens to associate head coach

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Dwayne Stephens, a Michigan State assistant who recently finished his ninth season with the team, has been promoted to associate head coach, Spartan coach Tom Izzo announced Tuesday.

“Over the last nine years, he’s continued to improve as a coach and expanded his responsibilities, while patiently waiting his turn,” said Izzo in a statement. “His efforts have played a major role in our success over the last decade…and has developed a greater understanding of all the different facets of being a head coach.”

Since joining the staff in 2003, Stephens has worked heavily with Michigan State post players, including recently graduated senior Draymond Green, who credits much of his development to Stephens.

“Having played at Michigan State while Coach Izzo was associate head coach to Coach Heathcote, I’m well aware of the significance of this position,” said Stephens in a release. “I’ve watched closely as other assistants have grown in this position, and I’m committed to doing the same.”

Stephens played for the Spartans from 1989-1993.

Under Izzo, five former associate head coaches at Michigan State have done on to take full-time head coaching positions elsewhere, including current Indiana coach Tom Crean.

With Stephens as an assistant, Michigan State has reached three Final Fours and won three Big Ten championships.

This past season, the team finished 29-8, including 13-5 in the Big Ten. They lost in the Sweet 16 to eventual Final Four participant Louisville.

Thought the Spartans will be losing leading scorer and rebounder Green to graduation, they will welcome a four-man recruiting class, led by five-star guard Gary Harris.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_