Minnesota State tags Mike Hastings as men’s hockey head coach

Drew Claussen

After a little more than two weeks of being vacant, the men’s hockey head coaching position at Minnesota State-Mankato has been filled.

Mike Hastings was introduced to the public and media Monday morning in a press conference held at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn. Hastings will become the third head coach in the team’s history.

“What I’ve seen with the university, the players and really everybody that’s been involved is we’re all after the same goal,” Hastings said in a release. “That’s to be something that we’re proud of.”

Hastings has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Before that had a brief one-season stint as an assistant coach for the Gophers and was the head coach for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League for 14 years.

The Crookston, Minn., native played two years of college hockey for St. Cloud State before an injury ended his career.

Hastings will take over for Troy Jutting, who was reassigned by the university. Jutting was the coach of the Mavericks from 2000-2012. Jutting coached the Mavericks to a 184-224-55 record during his 12 seasons at the helm. The Mavericks went 12-24-2 (8-18-2 WCHA) last season. 

“I’m going to tell you we’re going to be better this year,” Hastings said in a release. “But I’m also going to tell you that the expectations are going to be that the following year we’re going to be better than that — and to do that you have to do it from a foundation base.”

Hastings will receive a four-year contract worth $225,000 per year, according to MSU Director of Athletics Kevin Buisman.

“There were questions by others about ‘how important is hockey to Mankato,'” Buisman said in a release. “I think today we answered those questions.”

Hasting touched on the necessity of improving the team’s downtown facility during his press conference. A $14.5 million funding request for improvements to the Verizon Wireless Center was excluded from the Senate Republican’s bonding bill.