MSU hockey head coach Tom Anastos to step down from position

Photo Credit: MSU Spartans Official Website

After spending six seasons behind the bench for Michigan State hockey, head coach Tom Anastos is reportedly stepping down from his position.

The Dearborn-native Anastos, 53, and the Spartans are coming off a 7-24-4 season. It’s their lowest win total in nearly 40 years. Anastos’ best season came in his first year back in 2011-12 when they racked up 19 wins. It was also the last time the Spartans made the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament, when they were still a part of the then CCHA.

Photo Credit: MGoBlog/Flickr

The former Spartan grad Anastos played at MSU from 1981-85 before going behind the bench to begin coaching in ’86, as an assistant for the University of Michigan at Dearborn. He spent one season in that role before then then Dearborn HC Dave Rosteck resigned to become the school’s athletic director. Anastos was subsequently promoted to the head coaching role at just age 23.

Anastos did well at UDM, winning nearly 64 percent of the games he was the coach, all while helping push university athletics to the NCAA Division II ranks, which ultimately did not happen due to financial problems.

After his three seasons at UDM, Anastos took an assistant coach with his alma mater Michigan State in 1990, holding that spot for two years. Between that time and when he was hired to be the MSU head coach in 2011, Anastos held some rather high-ranking positions. He was president of the North American Hockey League from 1994-98 before becoming commissioner of the aforementioned CCHA, holding that job title from 1998-2011.

Anastos finishes his MSU coaching tenure with a record of 78-122-24. Michigan State has not fared well since Big Ten Hockey was formed, just .374 win percentage over the first four seasons. This is a once-proud program with a tradition of winning, the Spartans over a 31-year stint (1981-2012) appeared in the NCAA Tournament 24 times, including six trips to the Frozen Four and capturing two national championships.

Now comes the all important question… who will be the next head coach at MSU?