Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hastings isn't going anywhere

I remember when Mike Hastings was listed among the possible coaching candidates for the Minnesota State men's hockey job in 2012. It seemed like the only thing people in Mankato knew about him was that he was the heir apparent at Nebraska Omaha whenever Dean Blais finished coaching there. 

I recall a few people who thought that likelihood of him leaving in a few years should disqualify him for the position. They didn't want to be going through another coaching search in 3-5 years. I said, if he turns around the program and leaves for a bigger job, so be it.

Well, he's turned around the program. And he's (apparently) had the chance to leave for a supposedly bigger job. So ...

Minnesota State is making sure he stays in Mankato.

The university announced on Wednesday morning that it is working a new, 10-year contract with Hastings. This comes just two years into the eight-year extension he signed in 2015.

Read more here, but the school's press release admits that another school has come calling in recent weeks. Presumably that school was Nebraska Omaha from which Blais just stepped down. 

A few things to note from the press release:

• The 10-year deal will last through the '27-28 season.

• It is believed to be the longest appointment among all current men's hockey coaches.

• Still to be negotiated: compensation and program improvements such as cost-of-attendance aid, staffing commitments, travel and recruiting budget enhancements.

"As part of a thorough review of Maverick men's hockey last summer, we had benchmarked resources against the top teams in other leagues and made a commitment to these future program enhancements," MSU President Richard Davenport said in the release. "We are now operationalizing those plans, which is indicative of our desire to position Maverick hockey to compete as effectively as possible against the very best programs in the country."

Said AD Kevin Buisman: "There had been some inquiry about Coach Hastings and a request for permission to speak with him about other employment opportunities," said Buisman. "In light of this, we decided to move proactively to secure his loyalty and I feel good about the commitment we have made. These arrangements put us in a great position to further advance the program, as we continue to pursue our ultimate goals."

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