Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings wins Coach of the Year
BOSTON (KEYC) — Minnesota State Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings was announced as the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award Wednesday.
The award is presented to the top coach in Division I Men’s Ice Hockey, as voted on by his peers.
Hastings has now won the award three times in his career, joining Len Ceglarski (Clarkson and Boston College), Charlie Holt (New Hampshire) and Jack Parker (Boston University) as the only coaches in history to have won the Spencer Penrose Award three times in their careers.
In addition, Hastings won the award after previously winning it last season.
Hastings has led the Mavericks to a 37-5-0 record heading into Thursday’s Frozen Four matchup against the Minnesota Gophers.
No team in the country has won more games over the last 10 years than Minnesota State. Over that time, all with Hastings in charge, MSU compiled a record of 273-94-24 for a national-best .727 winning percentage.
In Hastings’ time at Minnesota State, the Mavericks have hoisted the MacNaughton Cup seven times in eight years (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) and have won four league postseason tournament titles (2014, 2015, 2019, 2022). In addition, the team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament seven times (2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022) with Hastings at the helm.
In addition to leading the Mavericks this season, Hastings was an assistant on the Team USA coaching staff that competed at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Despite all that success, Hastings will be the first to say that the team’s success over the years and winning the Spencer Penrose Awards are just the product of the players on the ice.
”I guess the best way I’d put it is when you’re a head coach and get that recognition, it’s almost like you’re the quarterback,” Hastings said. “A quarterback either gets too much blame or too much credit when things go well or bad. I think as the head coach of a program, you have to be willing to take the bullets when they’re shot at you because you have to be the one responsible.
“At the end of the day, I’m surrounded by an incredible group: Todd Knott, Paul Kirtland, Tom Inkrott, the staff I have, [and] this university has done a phenomenal job at allowing me to surround myself with really good people,” Hastings continued. “Those people do a really good job of what they’re supposed to do, their responsibilities. I’m honored to have that, appreciate it, but it’s shared by the student-athletes. They go out there, I haven’t scored a goal, stopped a puck. It’s a good seat at the game. It’s been a great ride with this group and I’m lucky to be where I’m at.”
The runner-up for this year’s award was Minnesota’s Bob Motzko, who the Mavericks will face Thursday in an in-state rivalry game at the Frozen Four for a chance to go to the national championship game.
The puck will drop between the Mavericks and Gophers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, with the game being broadcast on ESPNU.
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