March to Atlanta: Lupe Izzo Talks about Team, Family

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Family is important to Lupe Izzo.

"My number one job is to take care of my kids and to be a mother," Izzo says. "I have a lot of family here so that's kind of my number one role. "

She'd tell you her second family is Spartan basketball.

"When we're out in the community, people treat us like they know us and it's like extended family," she says. "When we're at the games, people know us by name. And it's always been very comfortable."

The team is understandably a huge part of the Izzo family's lives. For Lupe, it's recruiting that's her favorite part.

"Getting to know the families at a young age, getting to know, not just the players, but their families, their grandparents, you know, uncles, sisters, brothers," Izzo says. "Having a relationship through the whole entire process and even after, when my players graduate, I still have a relationship with parents."

We sat down with Lupe at the family's home, and she showed us around.

"This was a Christmas present I gave Tom last year after our Carrier Classic," she says of an illuminated collage of the game last November. "It was so meaningful because we were there with the troops. The troops thought it was so cool because they were there with us. It was like we were totally seeing each other on totally different sides. They were in awe and we were in awe."

We were in awe of all the Spartan memorabilia and awards and tournament balls.

You can bet the team spends a lot of time at this house with the Izzos.

"We love all those players," Lupe says. "We get phone calls, we get visits."

"Not only players but managers and student secretaries," she continues. "They've all become part of our lives. We knew them for four years while they were here and longer when we recruited them. So when they come, it's just marvelous. The bond that we all have with each other and the private times that they can spend with each other is just priceless."

But at the end of the day, when the team's gone and Coach is home, Lupe says it all comes back to family.

"He's just a dad," she says. "Steven wrestles around with him. He loves his daughter. His daughter is like the gleam of his eye and he just wants to be around us and he's kind of jealous that he doesn't get to do that a lot of times. So, when he's home, he's just home. He's relaxed, we make meals, it's just normal."

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