After multiple reports, Michigan State basketball associate head coach Dane Fife has confirmed he is leaving the Spartans to become an assistant coach for the Indiana Hoosiers. Fife will return to Indiana University, his alma mater, and work under newly-hired head coach Mike Woodson (who is also an Indiana alum). JoJo Gentry, a sports reporter for CBS4 in Indianapolis, was the first to break the news.
This marks the first time that Michigan State will have a coaching change on its full-time staff since 2011, when Fife first joined the program, which made Tom Izzo’s group the longest-tenured staff in the country until now. Fife was on staff for the Spartans’ two most recent Final Four appearances (2015 and 2019).
Fife spent the past 10 seasons working under Izzo at Michigan State. He was a key recruiter for the program, and earned the title of associate head coach before the start of the 2018-2019 season, after spending seven years as an assistant coach. Before coming to East Lansing, Fife was the head coach of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) from 2005 through 2011, and began his coaching career as an assistant with Indiana from 2003 through 2005.
He offered the following statement on his departure via Twitter:
Fife, a Clarkston, Michigan native, played collegiately at Indiana from 1998 through the 2002 season, under head coaches Bob Knight and Mike Davis. As a senior, Fife helped lead the Hoosiers to a share of the Big Ten title in the 2001-2002 season, as well as a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament that same year (losing to Maryland 64-52 in the national championship game). Fife was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a senior as well.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo also made a statement on Fife’s departure:
"Dane has been a tremendous asset to our program over the last 10 years and has been a big part of the success we've had." pic.twitter.com/aHLpfJGL9t— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) April 5, 2021
This article was updated to reflect Dane Fife had confirmed the report, and to add in Tom Izzo’s statement on Fife.