Anastos Named Michigan State Head Coach
CHN Staff Report
Michigan State has named current CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos as its new head coach.
Anastos is a 1985 Michigan State graduate, and spent two years as an assistant under Ron Mason. He became CCHA commissioner in March 1998. He will be just the sixth Spartans coach.
The frontrunner was assumed to be another Michigan State graduate, Danton Cole, who most recently was head coach at Alabama-Hutsville and then with the U.S. Junior National program.
"We're all completely flabbergasted," said one source to CHN. "No one saw this coming."
Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said on Twitter earlier today, "No(t) sure anyone including those in college hockey saw the Mich State hire coming."
Anastos scored 70 goals and 143 point in a four-year career with the Spartans, including 29-39—68 in his senior season while being named second team all-CCHA. That year, 1985, Michigan State got knocked out in an NCAA quarterfinal series at home by a Providence team that featured Chris Terreri and Tim Army. The Spartans eventually won the title the next year.
Anastos has been president of the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA), a group comprised of the five commissioners from NCAA Division I Hockey. He has been an influential member of the group, helping secure a college hockey a grant a grant from the National Hockey League through USA Hockey. The funding was used to create College Hockey Inc.
Anastos, a native of Dearborn, Mich., was also instrumental in spearheading getting the Frozen Four to Detroit in 2010.
With the CCHA, Anastos has helped expand the league's television contracts. And for the past five years, he has been on The Hockey News' list of most influential people in the sport.
The CCHA has taken a couple of blows recently, however. Last year, the league lost Nebraska-Omaha as a member to the WCHA. And just this week, the Big Ten formally announced its plans to start a hockey conference, which will remove Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State from the CCHA.
Prior to joining the CCHA, Anastos was president of the North American Hockey League, a Tier II junior league, for four seasons; and he's been active in USA Hockey. Anastos also played in the league prior to Michigan State, and was the first player drafted from the league when the Montreal Canadiens selected him in the sixth round of the 1981 draft.
After one season of playing in the minor leagues, Anastos became head coach at Michigan-Dearborn from 1987-90, compiling a 68-37-7 record. He then was an assistant coach under Mason from 1990-92.