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Michigan State coach Tom Anastos (matthew_mitchell)
Michigan State coach Tom Anastos went 78-122-24 in his tenure as Spartans head coach (photo: Matthew Mitchell).

Michigan State announced Tuesday that Tom Anastos will step down from his position as head coach of the Spartan hockey program, effective immediately.

Assistant coach Tom Newton will serve as interim head coach while a national search is conducted to replace Anastos.

“I want to thank Tom Anastos for the guidance he’s provided Spartan hockey over the last six seasons,” said MSU athletic director Mark Hollis in a statement. “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. He and his wife Lisa and their five children will continue to be valued members of our Spartan family.”

“When I first became head coach I established my own timeline for the program’s development,” added Anastos. “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. 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.

“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and support provided by our administration, especially that of Mark Hollis and President Simon. Michigan State is a special place to me and my family, and what makes it so special are its people. I appreciate the support and relationships that I’ve developed with the fans, boosters, alumni and media. I have loved working with our incredible group of coaches throughout the department, the most passionate and hardest working group of athletic administrators in all of college athletics, and most of all, the hockey coaches, support staff and student-athletes.”

Anastos’ dedication to MSU began when he competed as a player from 1981 to 1985. He later served as an assistant coach under Ron Mason from 1990 to 1992 and was appointed just the sixth head coach in program history in 2011 after serving as CCHA commissioner for 13 years.

Anastos was 78-122-24 in six seasons at Michigan State. He guided the Spartans to a berth in the 2012 NCAA tournament after going 19-16-4 in his first season behind the bench. In 2014-15, the Spartans posted a 17-16-1 record and finished second in the Big Ten regular-season standings.

  • TheNoke likes this.

    • jdhockeyboyz

      Decatur Spartan as well

      • Decatur Spartan

        Yes he does!

        • Roaring Aardvark

          Who do you like as his replacement?
          PS – you’re not allowed to dig up Ron Mason. We tried that at Tech with John MacInnes, and darn near got arrested…

          • Decatur Spartan

            Coach’s I think they should look at:
            Danton Cole. George Gwosdcky. Nate Leaman. Scott Sandelin. Bob Daniels. Mike Guentzel. Newel Brown. Apologies if I spelled names incorrectly.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            GG
            .

          • Decatur Spartan

            As a replacement or Rick Comley, I think Scott Owen would have been great. But not this time. Nor Eves.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            and i don’t see nate leaman and/or scott sandelin going anywhere!!!

            at all…
            .

          • Brian

            Don’t see Guentzel leaving as well. He is the heir apparent to Lucia.

          • jdhockeyboyz

            Not sure he would even consider moving to run a program that would always be considered second fiddle to the Ugly Helmets. Mike has done everything to prepare to run a big show and his problem at Minnesota is that he is only 4 years younger than t/Don, 54 vs. 58.

          • model94

            ask Pearson how that heir apparent thing works. Although we Huskies are happy that it turned out that way !!!!!

          • Decatur Spartan

            Probably not, but that doesn’t mean the AD shouldn’t look or talk to them.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I doubt Sandelin is going anywhere.

  • TheNoke likes this.

    • jdhockeyboyz

      Decatur Spartan as well

      • Decatur Spartan

        Yes he does!

        • Roaring Aardvark

          Who do you like as his replacement?
          PS – you’re not allowed to dig up Ron Mason. We tried that at Tech with John MacInnes, and darn near got arrested…

          • Decatur Spartan

            Coach’s I think they should look at:
            Danton Cole. George Gwosdcky. Nate Leaman. Scott Sandelin. Bob Daniels. Mike Guentzel. Newel Brown. Apologies if I spelled names incorrectly.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            GG
            .

          • Decatur Spartan

            As a replacement or Rick Comley, I think Scott Owen would have been great. But not this time. Nor Eves.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            and i don’t see nate leaman and/or scott sandelin going anywhere!!!

            at all…
            .

          • Brian

            Don’t see Guentzel leaving as well. He is the heir apparent to Lucia.

          • jdhockeyboyz

            Not sure he would even consider moving to run a program that would always be considered second fiddle to the Ugly Helmets. Mike has done everything to prepare to run a big show and his problem at Minnesota is that he is only 4 years younger than t/Don, 54 vs. 58.

          • model94

            ask Pearson how that heir apparent thing works. Although we Huskies are happy that it turned out that way !!!!!

          • Decatur Spartan

            Probably not, but that doesn’t mean the AD shouldn’t look or talk to them.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I doubt Sandelin is going anywhere.

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    never understood why anastos was even hired in the first place. but i don’t know much about anything.

    damon whitten (LSSU) will apply for this job… guaranteed.

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

    • Grant Dossetto

      He’ll apply, sure. It’s 3x the pay. He won’t get it though. Has to turn LSSU around first before he gets a payday.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      All I can say is that as a coach, he was a heck of a good CCHA commissioner…

      • model94

        basically.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      DTP – I wonder if an old friend of ours might be interested in this gig? Newell Brown is currently an assistant coach with the Arizona Coyotes, and he’s a former Spartan player. Seemed to be making progress with the Huskies too, until the Red Wings hired him away. I don’t follow the overall NHL as much as I used to, but I don’t remember hearing his name come up during NHL head coaching searches. He could end up being Sparty’s answer to Mel Pearson, eh?

      • higgins-1989@mail.ru

        I was paid 104000 dollars last 12 month period by doing a web based task furthermore I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r quite a few hours on a regular basis. I applied job opportunity I came across on the internet and therefore I am thrilled that I was in the position to earn such decent earnings. It is undoubtedly newbie-friendly and therefore I am so blessed that I found out about it. Check out what I do… www­.­cat­.­org­.­uk/snip/93439

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        did not know newell brown was a MSU alum…

        i just looked his resume up, they better go knock on his door.

        but here is me rooting for the best coach at NMU… so we can raise our WCHA playing level!!! we have to raise the bar!

        of all the coaches possibly available, to go anywhere, my pick would be george gwozdecky.

        GO TECH GOLD!
        .

        • Decatur Spartan

          Newel Brown was part of that 1985 MSU class that went 38-6. But lost to Providence in the quarters 6-5, two game most goals series. T. A. was part of that class too.

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    never understood why anastos was even hired in the first place. but i don’t know much about anything.

    damon whitten (LSSU) will apply for this job… guaranteed.

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

    • Grant Dossetto

      He’ll apply, sure. It’s 3x the pay. He won’t get it though. Has to turn LSSU around first before he gets a payday.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      All I can say is that as a coach, he was a heck of a good CCHA commissioner…

      • model94

        basically.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      DTP – I wonder if an old friend of ours might be interested in this gig? Newell Brown is currently an assistant coach with the Arizona Coyotes, and he’s a former Spartan player. Seemed to be making progress with the Huskies too, until the Red Wings hired him away. I don’t follow the overall NHL as much as I used to, but I don’t remember hearing his name come up during NHL head coaching searches. He could end up being Sparty’s answer to Mel Pearson, eh?

      • higgins-1989@mail.ru

        I was paid 104000 dollars last 12 month period by doing a web based task furthermore I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r quite a few hours on a regular basis. I applied job opportunity I came across on the internet and therefore I am thrilled that I was in the position to earn such decent earnings. It is undoubtedly newbie-friendly and therefore I am so blessed that I found out about it. Check out what I do… www­.­cat­.­org­.­uk/snip/93439

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        did not know newell brown was a MSU alum…

        i just looked his resume up, they better go knock on his door.

        but here is me rooting for the best coach at NMU… so we can raise our WCHA playing level!!! we have to raise the bar!

        of all the coaches possibly available, to go anywhere, my pick would be george gwozdecky.

        GO TECH GOLD!
        .

        • Decatur Spartan

          Newel Brown was part of that 1985 MSU class that went 38-6. But lost to Providence in the quarters 6-5, two game most goals series. T. A. was part of that class too.

  • Let’sPlayHockey

    It’s about time!!!!

  • Let’sPlayHockey

    It’s about time!!!!

  • Decatur Spartan

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      Figured this would make your day.

  • Decatur Spartan

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      Figured this would make your day.

  • gimruis

    Its about friggin’ time. He’s lucky he had the option of resigning. Shoulda been fired years ago based on Sparty’s recent seasons.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      IKR? Beating North Dakota just isn’t enough…

  • gimruis

    Its about friggin’ time. He’s lucky he had the option of resigning. Shoulda been fired years ago based on Sparty’s recent seasons.

    • Roaring Aardvark

      IKR? Beating North Dakota just isn’t enough…

  • Husky1992

    I understand loyalty but results determine the future. State has a great tradition and hope they find a coach and get back on track.

  • Husky1992

    I understand loyalty but results determine the future. State has a great tradition and hope they find a coach and get back on track.

  • GLap313

    MSU is not a “destination” any more. Among other things, the facility is just okay compared to many of the elite programs. (It was at or near the top of the heap when Ronnie was there.) The time to hire George was seven years ago. Why would Sandelin or Leaman go to State? I wouldn’t mind seeing Rod Brind’Amour come back.

  • GLap313

    MSU is not a “destination” any more. Among other things, the facility is just okay compared to many of the elite programs. (It was at or near the top of the heap when Ronnie was there.) The time to hire George was seven years ago. Why would Sandelin or Leaman go to State? I wouldn’t mind seeing Rod Brind’Amour come back.