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Michigan State seeks a new start, parts ways with Danton Cole

There are new additions to their rink coming, and by next season, Michigan State will have a new coach as well, after the school parted ways with Danton Cole after five years at the helm.

Danton Cole.jpg
Michigan State parted ways with hockey coach Danton Cole on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, after he had spent five seasons in charge of their program. The former Spartans player had a 58-101-12 record with MSU.
Contributed / Michigan State Athletics

EAST LANSING, Mich. — For more than a year, the folks from Michigan State’s hockey program have been tweeting arts renderings and construction photos from their new additions to Munn Ice Arena, which has been the Spartans’ home rink since the 1970s.

Soon, you can expect to see photos of their new coach as well. On Tuesday, April 12, the school announced that Danton Cole is leaving the program after five seasons as the head coach for his alma mater.

Cole leaves with a record of 58-101-12 with MSU, which has gone a decade without a trip to the NCAA tournament and has lost 15 consecutive playoff games.

“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,” said MSU athletic director Alan Haller, in a statement released by the school. “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.”

Cole returned to East Lansing in 2017 after head coaching stints at Alabama Huntsville and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. He played for the Spartans from 1985-89 and skated in more than 300 NHL games in his career. In his five seasons at Michigan State, the Spartans finished sixth in the seven-team Big Ten once, and finished seventh in the other four years, including this season when they posted a 12-23-1 record, losing 15 of their last 16 games.


The Spartans remain the most recent Big Ten program to win a NCAA title, after they beat Boston College for the 2007 national championship under former coach Rick Comley.

Munn, which opened in 1974 and seats 6,100 for hockey, is in the midst of at $26.2 million renovation project which will include a new weight room, training room, video room, conference rooms and administrative offices.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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