Michigan State University named gold medalist and Lansing native Danton Cole the new head coach of its hockey team.
Raised in Lansing, Danton Cole will now lead Michigan State University's hockey team as head coach.
MSU made the announcement on Tuesday. Cole, 50, comes to MSU from Team USA's National Team Development Program. He is the seventh head coach in the hockey program's history.
Cole was born in Pontiac and raised in Lansing. He graduated from Waverly High School.
He helped lead the Spartans' hockey team to an NCAA Championship in 1986. Cole graduated from MSU with a degree in finance.
As a professional hockey player, Cole played 318 NHL games over six seasons with Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, New Jersey, the New York Islanders and Chicago. As part of the New Jersey Devils, he was part of the team that won the Stanley Cup in 1995.
His winning streak continued as a coach. Cole guided Team USA to two gold medals (2012, 2014) and one bronze medal (2016) at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s Under-18 World Championship, according to a statement from MSU.
Cole replaced Tom Anastos, who stepped down as MSU hockey coach in March. Cole said this job is a dream come true.
“This is a position to which I’ve always aspired," said Cole in a university statement. "I wasn’t sure the timing would ever work out, but I’m very fortunate. My mom and dad both went to Michigan State – I didn’t grow up around MSU, I grew up at MSU. It has been an enormous part of my life."