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.