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.