After six seasons as head coach of Michigan State’s men’s hockey team, Tom Anastos is stepping down, the school announced Tuesday. Assistant coach Tom Newton will serve as interim head coach while the program conducts a search for Anastos’ replacement.
Anastos took over the team in 2011, with his only previous head coaching experience coming at Michigan-Dearborn from 1987-90. He played for the Spartans from 1981-85, and was an assistant coach for the team from 1990-92. Anastos served as commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association — a former Division I, hockey-only conference — for 13 seasons before taking over as Michigan State’s head coach.
The Spartans went 78-122-24 in his tenure, which started in a better place than it finished. Anastos led the program to a berth in the 2012 NCAA Tournament in his first season, finishing with the season 19-16-4. But the Spartans were just 7-24-4 this season.
“When I first became head coach I established my own timeline for the program’s development,” Anastos said in the school’s release. “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 (athletic director) Mark Hollis, I am stepping down from my role to help facilitate a change in leadership and direction for Spartan hockey.”