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April 14, 2012 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Hastings Named New Minnesota State Coach

CHN Staff Report

MANKATO, Minn. — One day after Mike Hastings met the Minnesota State media and public, in what was called an interview session, he has been officially named the new head coach of the Mavericks.

Hastings, a native of Crookston, Minn., has been an assistant coach to Dean Blais at Nebraska-Omaha since Blais took over three seasons ago. He was thought by many to be the heir apparent for that job, as Blais has indicated he could retire within a few years.

Hastings, instead, becomes the third coach in the history of the Mavericks' program.

"I am extremely excited to have been selected as head coach (at) Minnesota State," said Hastings. "During this process, I’ve been struck by the university’s commitment and expectations for excellence and those will be our tenets moving forward. I believe we can win here and we’re thrilled to get started with this new era of Maverick Hockey."

Minnesota State, two weeks ago, decided to remove Troy Jutting as head coach after 12 seasons.

Hastings spent 14 seasons as head coach of the USHL's Omaha Lancers, winning a title in 2008. He was named USHL Coach of the Year three times and as the team’s general manager, earned league GM of the Year honors five times. He has the most wins all-time in the USHL, and never had a losing season.

After the 2008 title, Hastings was set to step down as coach and become team president when, instead, he was asked to replace Mike Guentzel as assistant coach at Minnesota. Hastings — who played two seasons as a defenseman at St. Cloud State — then left the Gophers after one season to join Blais back in Omaha.

Hastings was an assistant coach for the U.S. national junior team at the 2003 and 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships and served twice as head coach for the U.S. junior select team that competed in the Viking Cup, earning gold medal honors in 2000.

Minnesota State, which has been in the WCHA since 1999-2000, will go through a transition with remaining WCHA members in 2013-14. That's the year Minnesota and Wisconsin leave for the Big Ten, and five other teams leave for the NCHC.

"There is a tremendous opportunity at hand for Maverick Hockey and that was evident by the level of interest that others demonstrated in this position," MSU athletic director Kevin Buisman said. "Coach Hastings emerged from a highly competitive process as the individual we believed was most qualified to take us in the direction we want to go with in terms of fan interest, attendance, recruiting, and overall competitiveness. Throughout this process, President (Richard) Davenport has demonstrated a renewed commitment to the future success of Maverick Hockey and has set a solid foundation for our boosters, donors, alumni, and community supporters to rally around. We need to embrace this change in a positive way, seize the moment, and begin to chart a course where excellence in our hockey program becomes the standard."

Buisman indicated that Hasting’s contract would be for four years at a salary of $225,000 per year with a portion of that funded privately. Buisman also said that Hastings will assume his responsibilities Monday, April 16.

Hastings will have a news conference Monday.
 

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