CHN Staff Report
MANKATO, Minn. Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings is the winner of the 2021 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Coach of the Year, as awarded by the American Hockey Coaches Association. Hastings also was the recipient in 2015.
The 2020-21 Mavericks won their first NCAA tournament game last weekend, and reached the Frozen Four for the first time. They play St. Cloud State Thursday at 5 p.m. (ET) in the first NCAA Semifinal in Pittsburgh.
Minnesota State is 22-4-1 going into the weekend. It captured the WCHA regular-season title, going 13-1-2 in league play. It was the sixth MacNaughton Cup in Hastings’ nine seasons with Minnesota State. Overall, MSU leads the NCAA in team defense with 1.52 goals allowed average. They are also averaging 3.56 goals per game, fifth best in the NCAA. Their power play, at 25.8, is fourth best in the country.
Entering the Frozen Four, Hastings has a career record of 236-89-24. His winning percentage of .711 is the best among all active NCAA Division I men’s head coaches.
The fourth coach in the history of the Maverick men’s hockey program, Hastings arrived at Minnesota State following a three-year stint as the associate head coach at Nebraska-Omaha. He also served as an assistant coach with Minnesota for one season and before that had a 14-year run as head coach of Omaha of the USHL. He left the USHL as the league’s all-time winningest coach, compiling a 529-210-56 record with the Lancers, never had a losing season and led Omaha to three Clark Cup titles as the USHL’s playoff champions. He was named USHL Coach of the Year three times and as the team’s general manager, earned league GM of the Year honors five times.
Hastings was an assistant coach for the U.S. national junior team at the 2003 and 2005 World Junior tournament, and served twice as head coach for the U.S. junior select team that competed in the Viking Cup, earning gold medal honors in 2000. A 1993 graduate of St. Cloud State, Hastings played two years for the Huskies (1986-87 and 1987-88) before a back injury ended his career.
The runner-up for this year’s Spencer Penrose Award was Greg Carvel of Massachusetts, who was CHN’s Coach of the Year recipient.