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This old picture of Tom Crean is making me nostalgic

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I miss you, Tom.

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The Athletic, Detroit

If you follow me on Twitter (@ChrisSchutte3), you’re aware that I am the world’s utmost expert on all things Tom Crean related. My camera roll contains more pictures of him than any sane person should have, and I’ve produced multiple pieces of content about him that have no reason to ever see the light of day. Tom Crean pictures are the backbone of my online brand.

I’m one of the lone remaining Indiana basketball fans that would go to war for Tom Crean, partially for reasons that are not actually basketball related. But that’s not the point of this post.

The other night, news broke that legendary Michigan State basketball coach Jud Heathcote had passed away at the age of 90. Crean, who served as a graduate assistant for Heathcote in 1989, penned a touching tribute on The Athletic.

The tribute is a good read and sheds some light on how Crean broke into coaching. But that’s not the reason for this article.

The reason is the picture that accompanied the article:

The Athletic, Detroit

LOOK AT YOUNG TOM CREAN AND TOM IZZO BUT MOSTLY YOUNG TOM CREAN.

He looks so young and full of life. The skin as tan as ever, the hair lush and perfectly coiffed. I didn’t think it was possible to look so awkward, yet so comfortable in your own skin.

And don’t even get me started on that fit. Your favorite coach could never pull it off. Not even Jay Wright.

The beauty of Tom Crean is that he is simultaneously the most un-photogenic man on Earth, yet the perfect coach for today’s era of memes and online #content. It’s clear that he’s been that way ever since he entered the coaching world.

It’s a damn shame that he won’t patrolling the sidelines for my favorite team this season, or any program for that matter. The world will still get the Crean content that it (I) crave(s) when he ultimately winds up with a network studio gig, but it’s just not the same.

I need the frantic pacing up and down the sideline. I need the Diet-Coke-sipping, pants-adjusting coach back on a basketball court. I’m incomplete without Tom Crean coaching in this world.

He will, more than likely, be coaching again by this time next season. But until then, I’ll reminisce with this picture and others to relish in the glory that is Tom Crean.

I miss you, Tom. Never stop being you.