Spartans hire familiar face for behind the bench

His resume is impressive – and local.
His resume is impressive – and local.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 11:44 AM EDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 6:20 AM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University has announced Adam Nightingale will be the next head hockey coach, the eighth in program history.

Nightingale’s resume is impressive – and local.

He most recently served as head coach of the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) for the past two seasons.

Additionally, he has four years of NHL experience, including as an assistant coach for the Red Wings in the 2019-20 season. He also served as the video coach for both the Red Wings in 2017-19 and the Buffalo Sabres from 2016-17.

“I’m extremely thankful and humbled to have the opportunity to lead at Michigan State University,” said Nightingale. “Spartan hockey is a source of pride for the University, the East Lansing community, and the entire state of Michigan. I’d like to thank Athletic Director Alan Haller, Deputy AD Jennifer Smith, and everyone involved in the search process for the opportunity to come back home and once again be a part of this storied program.

As a two-year alternate captain and Spartan student-athlete, Nightingale has extraordinary ties to player development and recruiting.

Nightingale stated he will hire a staff that is “well equipped” to support student-athletes, and be committed to developing each “as a person, not just a hockey player.”

He noted he intends to bring in high-level players who have aspirations to work hard, hoping to develop to the point where they have the chance to play in the NHL.

“It brings me great pride to bring Adam Nightingale back to Michigan State University as the new head coach of Spartan hockey,” said Alan Haller, MSU Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Adam has a passion for the school and the program, and his combination of skill development, player development and recruiting ties promises to make the next era of Spartan hockey a successful chapter in the storied history of a proud program.”

Prior to playing at Michigan State from 2003-05, Nightingale played two seasons at Lake Superior State University from 2000-02. He then went on to play in the ECHL for four seasons including stints with the Gwinnett Gladiators, Greenville Grrrowl, and Charlotte Checkers.

The hiring comes less than a month after MSU parted ways with Danton Cole, following a 58-101-12 record.

More: ‘Change in leadership’ -- Danton Cole leaving MSU Hockey

The school is attempting to turn around a program that has won a national championship in the past - both in 1986 and 2007 - but has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2012.

The decade-long drought is the second-longest in program history, behind the stretch from 1968-81.

Nightingale will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday, May 9, which will be streamed on and the WILX Facebook page.

Next: Dantonio To Play Charity Golf

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