ANN ARBOR MI - DECEMBER 11: Trevor Nill #4 of the Michigan State Spartans heads up ice while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on December 11 2010 in Ann Arbor Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Tom Anastos Announces Michigan State Hockey Coaching Staff

Michigan State's new head hockey coach, Tom Anastos, has announced his coaching staff.

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Tom Anastos Announces Michigan State Hockey Coaching Staff

Michigan State's new hockey head coach, Tom Anastos, announced who is on his first coaching staff on Monday. He hired Kelly Miller and Mike Gilmore, who both played at Michigan State, and he retained assistant Tom Newton and video coordinator Adam Nightingale.

Miller and Newton will be full-time assistant coaches for MSU. Miller played at Michigan State from 1981-85 and is a cousin of Ryan Miller and Drew Miller. His brothers, Kelly and Kip, also played at Michigan State and in the NHL. Kelly Miller's NHL career spanned 16 seasons and saw him play in more than 1,000 games.

Newton being retained means he will be entering his 22nd season with the Spartans in 2011. He was originally hired by Ron Mason and was also an assistant under Rick Comley.

Gilmore will be a volunteer assistant coach who will mainly work with MSU's goalies. He played at MSU from 1988-92 and spent time with the ECHL's Erie Panthers and the AHL's Binghamton Rangers for three seasons after leaving MSU. From 1994-96, he was a volunteer assistant at Michigan State, so this will be his second stint as a volunteer assistant for the Spartans.

One thing is for certain about Anastos' coaching staff -- there are a lot of familiar faces that have been around the Michigan State hockey program for a number of years.

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Michigan State Announces Hiring Of Tom Anastos As Hockey Coach

This afternoon, Michigan State officially announced that its new hockey head coach is Tom Anastos. He resigned from his position as commissioner of the CCHA to take the job in an all-around stunning move.

The MSU coaching situation went from Danton Cole, a favorite from the get-go, appearing to be the hire to Anastos getting the job completely out of left field. To say this is a shock is an understatement, but Anastos is in fact the new hockey coach at MSU, and he is excited to be back in East Lansing.

"I am extremely excited about returning to Michigan State to lead the Spartan Hockey program and once again be a part of the MSU Athletics Department family," said Anastos. "I have obviously maintained a relationship with MSU and been in close contact with the hockey program for the last 13 years in my role with the CCHA, but this opportunity is incredibly special.

"The expectations I have for our program will be to compete annually for conference and national championships. That was the expectation when I was here as a player and as an assistant coach, and I don't believe it should be any different in my role as head coach. In our locker room, we have quality young men who are good players, good students and good citizens, which are all hallmarks of this program. I am excited to get started, to hire a staff, and to get myself re-acclimated within the MSU community."

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis and school president Lou Anna K. Simon had this to say about the decision to hire Anastos:

"Bringing Tom Anastos into the MSU Athletics Department to run our hockey program brings someone with energy and passion not only for the sport of hockey, but for our University and program as well," said Hollis. "He can attract high-caliber talent and develop those players into those who are attractive to the National Hockey League. He places a premium on education, and the drive and desire to compete for championships.

"Hockey is important in the state of Michigan, and it is also important to Michigan State. We will continue to provide the resources to appropriately support this program, and to best prepare our student-athletes for their personal future ... in the NHL and the business world."

"Tom Anastos is an incredibly accomplished individual, and the same characteristics which have made him such a successful leader since his graduation from Michigan State will pay dividends for our hockey program, our entire athletic department and University," added Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon. "Tom is a dynamic individual who will be an asset for Team MSU as we move forward. There is no doubt that he is passionate about developing young people, and we are excited for our next era to begin."

Anastos will be officially introduced at Munn Ice Arena during a 4 p.m. press conference that is open to the public. It will also be streamed live on MSU's athletics website.

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Report: Tom Anastos, Not Danton Cole, To Be Michigan State's New Hockey Coach

Contrary to a previous report by Lansing TV station WILX, which stated that Danton Cole had been hired as Michigan State's new hockey head coach, it appears that CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos is going to lead the Spartans' program. Multiple sources are reporting the move, which comes way out of left field.

Anastos had been the commissioner of the CCHA since 1998. Before taking that position he was the president of the North American Hockey League, which is a Tier II junior league.

Anastos attended Michigan State and played for the Spartans' hockey team from 1981-85. Oddly enough, that was the same time Cole was on the team, which may be part of why there was confusion earlier over who was hired. (Perhaps Cole will be an assistant.)

Anastos' coaching career is fairly limited. He was the Michigan-Dearborn head coach from 1987-90. From 1990-92, he was an assistant on Ron Mason's coaching staff at Michigan State. Considering he has not been involved in coaching since the early 90s, this move is very surprising, especially with a guy like Cole out there as the favorite to get the job.

The announcement about Anastos' hire is expected to take place later this afternoon.

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Danton Cole Reportedly Tabbed As New Michigan State Hockey Coach

WILX in Lansing is reporting that Danton Cole is expected to be announced as Michigan State's new hockey coach at a 4 p.m. announcement at Munn Ice Arena. MSU athletic director Mark Hollis said last week to expect an announcement about a new hockey coach this week, and it looks like decision day has arrived for the Spartans.

Some background on Cole: He went to Waverly High School in Lansing before attending Michigan State. He played for the Spartans hockey team for four seasons and won a national title in 1986, when Ron Mason was head coach. Cole was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets and later played for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He went on to play for the Devils, who he won a Stanley Cup with in 1995, as well as the Islanders and Blackhawks. Cole also spent time playing in Germany and in the IHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

After retiring from hockey, Cole became an assistant coach for the Griffins and later the head coach of the UHL's Muskegon Fury. He won a title with the Fury and then returned to Grand Rapids as the Griffins' head coach. Upon being let go by Grand Rapids during the 2004-05 season, Cole was hired by Bowling Green as an assistant. He then became the head coach of Alabama-Huntsville in 2007, leading the Chargers to the NCAA hockey tournament in 2009-10. After losing to Miami (Ohio) in the first round, Cole resigned as head coach and was hired to lead the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor.

Now Cole is set to return to his alma mater as the program's sixth head coach.

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