Hastings set to take over Wisconsin men’s hockey

Three-time national coach of the year becomes sixth coach in UW’s modern era
MSU's Mike Hastings and Todd Hoffner join this week's Maverick Insider.
MSU's Mike Hastings and Todd Hoffner join this week's Maverick Insider.(KEYC)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 3:26 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (UWBadgers.com) - Wisconsin Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh named Mike Hastings the next head coach of Wisconsin men’s hockey on Thursday.

I am incredibly excited about Mike Hastings becoming our men’s hockey coach,” McIntosh said. “He has a tremendous history of success at Minnesota State and, before that, with the Omaha Lancers. In my conversations with Mike, it is clear that he shares the values we have at Wisconsin and I know he is committed to the academic achievement and personal growth of our student-athletes. He is a great fit for our athletic department and I can’t wait for him to get started.”

Hastings brings a remarkable level of consistent excellence to Wisconsin, directing his teams to winning marks in all 25 seasons he’s served as a head coach. That record includes the last 11 seasons at Minnesota State, where he directed the Mavericks to eight NCAA tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023), a pair of Frozen Fours (2021, 2022) and the NCAA title game (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic prevented a ninth NCAA appearance in 2020. The winning also spans 14 seasons as head coach of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers.

“Wisconsin is one of college hockey’s great programs and I am both thrilled and humbled to have this opportunity,” Hastings said. “I want to thank Chris McIntosh for his belief in me. Badger hockey has a lot going for it – great alums, fans, facilities, tradition, a terrific campus and city. I can’t wait to get to Madison and start working with our team on building a winning culture on and off the ice.”

A three-time Spencer Penrose Award winner as NCAA coach of the year, his Mavericks captured eight conference regular-season championships during his 11 seasons behind the bench to help him earn league coach of the year five times while at MSU.

His MSU run includes regular-season conference titles in each of the last six seasons, winning the CCHA in 2022 and 2023, while conquering the WCHA four times from 2018-21. Minnesota State twice won the Mason Cup as CCHA tourney champions (2022, 2023) and a pair of Broadmoor Trophies as the WCHA tournament winners (2014, 2015) under Hastings direction.

Minnesota State won 20 games in a season twice during its first 16 years of NCAA Division I play, but surpassed the mark in all 11 seasons of Hastings’ tenure. MSU set its school mark with 38 victories during its run to the 2022 NCAA Championship game, its third 30-win season in a four-year stretch.

The Mavericks went 299-109-25 during his 11 years leading the program for a .719 win percentage which ranks him as the nation’s active leader in win percentage and gives him the third-highest mark in NCAA men’s hockey history.

While at Minnesota State, seven players under Hastings skated to All-America seasons including Dryden McKay, the 2022 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as the nation’s top player. McKay was also a three-time top-three finalist for the Mike Richter Award given to the nation’s top goaltender. In addition, nine of his MSU players have skated in the NHL thus far.

On the international stage, Hastings directed Team USA to a silver medal at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship and served as an assistant coach for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing and the 2022 U.S. National Team at the world championship. He also served as an assistant coach for Team USA’s National Junior Team at World Juniors in 2005 and 2003.His collegiate coaching career began in 2008 with one year as an assistant at Minnesota, before he moved on for three seasons as associate head coach at Omaha (2009-12).

His impressive success began in the USHL when he served as head coach and general manager of the Omaha Lancers for 14 seasons (1994-2008). His teams won three Anderson Cups as regular-season champions (2002, 2005, 2008) and three Clark Cups as playoff winners (1998, 2001, 2008).That all helped him win two USHL Coach of the Year honors (1997, 2002) and five USHL General Manager of the Year accolades (1997, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008).

He left for the college ranks in 2008 as the USHL’s all-time winningest coach at 529-210-56 at the time.

A 1993 St. Cloud State graduate, he skated two seasons with the Huskies (1986-88) before injury cut his playing career short.

Hastings and his wife, Jean Ann, are the parents of two grown children.