Michigan State announced on Tuesday that Danton Cole would no longer be head coach of the Michigan State hockey program. Cole had led the Spartans for the past five seasons, amassing a record of just 58-101-12.
In the school’s press release, athletic director Alan Haller said:
“Over the last month, I spent time evaluating where we currently stand as a hockey program. It’s become clear to me that it’s in the best interests of the program to make a change in leadership and begin a new era of Spartan hockey,” Danton Cole is a Spartan alum who put his heart into this job and we appreciate his efforts and dedication. ”I believe a fresh start is what the program needs most. We have a proud championship history and a passionate alumni group. With a renovated Munn Ice Arena opening this fall and a renewed commitment to the success of the program, great things are on the horizon for Spartan hockey.”
Cole was hired in 2017 to replace Tom Anastos, who similarly let go for mediocre performance. There was some hope that Cole’s previous head coaching experience at Alabama-Huntsville and with the NTDP program could provide a boost to a program that had seen their prestige fall due to a lack of institutional investment in the program. But the talent level at Michigan State dipped significantly under Cole and the Spartans weren’t able to compete against the rest of the Big Ten.
Michigan State will once again be looking for a head coach to bring the Spartan program back to national prominence. Early indications are that NTDP coach Adam Nightengale could be one of the names under serious consideration. Whoever lands the job will face a difficult task.