Minnesota State Hires Mike Hastings

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Minnesota State hires Mike Hastings

Mike Hastings was Minnesota State’s No. 1 choice to be the university’s next men’s hockey coach, and Hastings ultimately agreed that MSU was a good match for him as well.

On Saturday, Hastings was named the third coach in program history. The now-former Nebraska Omaha associate head coach agreed to a four-year contract that will pay him $225,000 annually. A portion of that salary will be funded privately, according to a university press release.

Hastings, 46, will be introduced during a press conference on at 10:15 a.m. today at the Verizon Wireless Center’s Ellerbee Room. Today will be Hastings’ first official day on the job. He said he will return to Mankato some time this afternoon.

Hastings succeed Troy Jutting, who was coach for the last 12 years before being reassigned to an administrative position on April 1. Don Brose, who started the program, coached the team for 30 years.

Hastings brings an impressive resume to Minnesota State and has had brushes with some of the best coaches in college hockey. But he built a reputation as one of the top junior coaches in the United States.

He spent the last three seasons as part of Dean Blais’ staff in Omaha. A year before that he worked for one season on Don Lucia’s bench at Minnesota. Between them, Blais and Lucia have four NCAA championships. Hastings also played for the legendary Herb Brooks for one year when Brooks was at St. Cloud State.

Before going to Minnesota in 2008, Hastings earned his keep as a highly successful junior coach with the Omaha Lancers. In 14 seasons as head coach, he became the United States Hockey League’s all-time winningest coach. He won two national championships, three USHL Clark Cup titles and more than 500 games. He was also a two-time USHL coach of the year and five-time general manager of the year.

Hastings now has the task of turning around a program that finished 11th in the 12-team Western Collegiate Hockey Association the last two seasons and one that hasn’t been to the WCHA FInal FIve or the NCAA tournament since 2003. Minnesota State has also seen declining attendance figures and booster-club support in recent years.

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