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After serving as Michigan’s head coach for nearly a decade in two different tenures, assistant coach Saddi Washington has accepted an assistant position on Tom Izzo’s staff at Michigan State.

Washington interviewed at MSU in the spring. He has a connection to the Spartans as his father, Stan, played there from 1963 to 1966. Washington is also from Lansing and graduated from JW Sexton High School in 1993.

Washington began his coaching career as an assistant under Nate Oats at Romulus High School and was hired right after his college basketball career at Western Michigan University in the 1990s. He also spent a decade (2006-16) under another great coach in the state of Michigan, Greg Kampe at Oakland University.

Washington was hired out of Michigan in 2016 and was originally brought in by former head coach John Beilein. He was initially responsible for training the big men and mentoring first-round picks Mo Wagner and DJ Wilson. He stayed with the team when Juwan Howard took over and was responsible for coordinating defensive strategies.

In seven seasons, Washington was involved in 176 wins, including a program-record 33 wins in the 2017–18 season.

Washington has also earned a reputation as a solid recruiter, playing a big role in recruiting the 2021 class, which was ranked third nationally by 247Sports. That class is considered one of the most talented in recent history, featuring five-star players Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate, first-round pick Kobe Bufkin and solid supporting cast Will Tschetter.

Although the end of Howard’s tenure was turbulent, Washington seemed quite popular with Michigan fans and always treated the media with respect during his limited appearances via Zoom and in person.

We at Maize n Brew wish Washington the best of luck, but also hope he comes out on top in the in-state rivalry games this season, as Michigan State is one of three Big Ten teams Michigan will face twice next season.

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