Anastos Steps Down at Michigan State
CHN Staff Report
EAST LANSING, Mich. Tom Anastos has decided to resign as head coach at Michigan State, the school announced today. He steps down after six seasons at the helm.
The move came after meetings with athletic director Mark Hollis this week. Assistant coach Tom Newtown will serve as interim head coach while a national search is conducted, the school said.
The Spartans made the NCAAs in Anastos' first year, 2011-12, but never came close again. This season's seven wins matches the lowest amount for the program since 1977-78.
“When I first became head coach I established my own timeline for the program’s development. After a review of our season, and in spite of the progress we have made in so many areas, we have not met my expectations,” Anastos said. “As a leader, I believe that you must always make every decision based on what’s in the overall best interests of the program, and never put personal interests first. After lengthy conversations with Mark Hollis, I am stepping down from my role to help facilitate a change in leadership and direction for Spartan hockey.
Anastos played for the Spartans from 1981-85, and was later an assistant coach under Ron Mason for two years, 1990-92. A few years later, Anastos became commissioner of the CCHA, a run that lasted 13 seasons, during which time he made a name for himself in the hockey world as a leader in the sport, helping create the Commissioners Association and College Hockey Inc.
When Rick Comley retired, Hollis went to Anastos as his replacement despite little head coaching experience.
The Spartans made the NCAAs, but only went over .500 once more in the next five seasons. Their season ended this year in the first round of last weekend's Big Ten tournament, with a loss to Ohio State.
“I want to thank Tom Anastos for the guidance he’s provided Spartan hockey over the last six seasons,” Hollis said. “He would be the first to admit that he wished there were more on-ice victories, but he built a program that was a great value to our community. His student-athletes were successful in the classroom and were great representatives of the athletic department and the university as a whole with their commitment to community outreach.
“A loyal Spartan for more than three decades, Tom Anastos has given so much to Michigan State. He’s had a positive impact on our entire department, well beyond the ice rink. Tom’s an amazing individual whose passion for Michigan State is unsurpassed.”
Anastos was 78-122-24 in his six seasons at Michigan State.
This represents the fifth head coaching opening in college hockey this season, and there could be more. The other four are all still vacant — Rensselaer, Niagara, Northern Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha.