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Michigan State hires CCHA commish to coach hockey

By LARRY LAGE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 23, 2011; 4:35 PM

DETROIT -- Michigan State hired a new men's hockey coach Wednesday, tapping Central Collegiate Hockey Association commissioner Tom Anastos.

"He's never failed at anything he's done," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a telephone interview.

Hollis started looking for coach earlier this year when Rick Comley announced he was retiring this year after nine seasons that included the 2007 national championship.

Anastos had been CCHA's commissioner since 1998 after working as president of the North American Hockey League. The native of Dearborn, Mich., played for Ron Mason at Michigan State from 1981-85 and spent one season with the Montreal Canadiens organization.

He was 68-37-7 as head coach at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1987-90, then for two years was an assistant coach for the Mason-led Spartans.

"The connections Tom has made as a commissioner, coach and a Spartan came together in an unbelievable package," Hollis said. "When we made the decision, Mason said, `It's just what the doctor ordered.' Tom brings a lot of intangibles to the table that will serve us well."

© 2011 The Associated Press