Tom Anastos Steps Down as MSU Hockey Coach

Tom+Anastos+Steps+Down+as+MSU+Hockey+Coach

The Tom Anastos era is over in East Lansing.

Tuesday afternoon, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced in a statement that Anastos would step down after after six seasons behind the Spartan bench.

“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.”

The announcement comes after two straight 20 loss seasons as well as a 7-24-4 record this past year, the program’s worst showing since 1978. According to the release, Anastos admitted he did not reach his own expectations and that his decision to step down was in the best interest of the program.  

“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 will finish 78-122-24 over his six seasons and is the first MSU hockey coach since Harold Paulsen to finish his coaching career without bringing a national championship to East Lansing.

Anastos was hired back in 2011 after the retirement of then coach Rick Comley. Over the course of his six seasons, Michigan State only saw two winning years. 2012, which saw Anastos’ only NCAA tournament appearance and 2015, which saw the Spartans finish 2nd in the Big Ten.  Even so, MSU failed to keep up with rival Michigan and NCAA newcomer Penn State as they forged ahead into a new conference, and the Spartans became less and less relevant in the state of Michigan.

With Anastos gone, assistant coach Tom Newton will act as interim head coach until a replacement can be found. With a national search soon to be underway all eyes now turn to see who Hollis will call upon to try to resurrect Spartan hockey.