Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In a move not anticipated by the public and even some relatively close to the situation, Michigan State has decided to hire former Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) commissioner, Tom Anastos, as its new head coach.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Anastos, a former Spartan player and assistant coach, had been at the helm of the CCHA since 1998. He played for Ron Mason from 1981-1985, came back as Masonâ€™s assistant in 1990, then became head coach at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1987-90 â€“ where he ended up with a 68-37-7 record.
Before the announcement of Anastosâ€™ arrival in East Lansing as the replacement for the now-resigned Rick Comley, early reports and speculationÂ said MSU athletic director Mark Hollis was going to hire former Spartan Danton Cole as Comleyâ€™s permanent replacement.
Hollis, however, decided that Anastos better fit the expectations of the schoolâ€™s hockey program in the long run. Not to mention that Hollis feels Anastos has the ability to recruit talented athletes who are also educationally inclined to succeed.
â€œHe can attract high-caliber talent and develop those players into those who are attractive to the National Hockey League. He places a premium on education, and the drive and desire to compete for championships,â€ Hollis said. â€œHockey is important in the state of Michigan, and it is also important to Michigan State. We will continue to provide the resources to appropriately support this program, and to best prepare our student-athletes for their personal future â€¦ in theÂ NHLÂ and the business world.â€
Anastos is excited to return to the place where his hockey origin really lifted off, and seems confident he can turn around the Michigan State hockey program after a few down years and not getting back to the national championship scene.
â€œI am extremely excited about returning to Michigan State to lead the Spartan hockey program and once again be a part of the MSU athletics department family,â€ Anastos said. â€œI have obviously maintained a relationship with MSU and been in close contact with the hockey program for the last 13 years in my role with the CCHA, but this opportunity is incredibly special.â€
Can Anastos bring in a newfound sense of confidence the university has been seeking?Â Â He believes his experiences as CCHA commissioner will help him recruit the talent needed to compete with other stalwarts in the sport. He has experience in being an aggressive and persuasive person, completing big plans like bringing the Frozen Four to Detroitâ€™s Ford Field last year.
This hire will also lead MSU into a new era in which the Big Ten conference is on its way to forming its own conference, leaving the CCHA altogether and having six teams be part of this new endeavor in 2013-14.
The biggest thing that the Spartan Nation needs to embrace is that IN HOLLIS WE TRUST!Â If Mark Hollis believes in this hire, he has done nothing to prove he doesnâ€™t know what he is doing.Â Spartan Nation looks forward to covering Spartan Hockey under new Coach Anastos.Â