Tom Anastos

Last updated
Tom Anastos
Biographical details
Born (1963-07-05) July 5, 1963 (age 59)
Dearborn, Michigan
Playing career
1981–1985 Michigan State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1986–1987Michigan-Dearborn (assistant)
1990–1992Michigan State (assistant)
2011–2017Michigan State
Head coaching record
Overall124–147–30 (.462)

Thomas A. Anastos (born July 5, 1963) is an American ice hockey coach, former player, and former league administrator. He was most recently the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans men's ice hockey team (MSU), a member of the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten) in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He played junior hockey for the Paddock Pool Saints, college hockey for the Michigan State University Spartans and professional hockey for the Sherbrooke Canadiens. He was an ice hockey league administrator most recently serving as commissioner of the original Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), a now defunct NCAA Division I conference, from 1998-2012. [lower-alpha 1] Anastos is a member of the Dearborn (Michigan) Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 2000.


Playing career

Junior hockey

Anastos played junior hockey from 1979 to 1981 for the Paddock Pool Saints in Ecorse, Michigan, a U.S. Junior A hockey program of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League, now named the North American Hockey League. Paddock Pool won the league championship during both of Anastos' seasons with the team. He has the distinction of being the first ever NAHL player drafted by an NHL team [2] when he was selected in the sixth round, 124th overall, by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. Anastos played the center position in juniors.

College hockey

In 1980, Anastos was drafted by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, but he chose to play college hockey at Michigan State after being recruited by MSU assistant coach Shawn Walsh. [3] A four-year letter-winner under coach Ron Mason from 1981–1985, Anastos played in 151 games, notched 70 goals and 73 assists for 153 total career points. Anastos holds the MSU school record for short-handed goals in a season (7 in 1983–1984). His 10 career short-handed goals are tied for fourth all-time in MSU hockey history. [4] Anastos played the right wing position in college.

As a senior, Anastos earned second-team all-conference honors and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Great Lakes Invitational in 1984 and the CCHA Tournament in 1985.

Professional hockey

Anastos joined the American Hockey League Sherbrooke Canadiens, the top farm club of the Montreal Canadiens, in 1985. In one season for Sherbrooke, he played in 55 games notching nine goals and 18 assists. Anastos retired from playing hockey in 1986 to finish his college degree. [5]

Coaching career

Anastos has coached for one National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) program, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolves (UMD), and one NCAA program, the Michigan State University Spartans. While at Michigan-Dearborn, Anastos guided the Wolves to two conference championships. In eight seasons as a head coach, Anastos has compiled a record of 136 wins, 127 losses and 41 ties.


Anastos was named an assistant coach for the varsity ice hockey program at the University of Michigan–Dearborn (UMD) by head coach Dave Rosteck prior to the 1986-87 season. [5] Rosteck resigned at the end of the season to become athletic director and Anastos, age 23, was named head coach on March 11, 1987. [6] [7] In hopes of moving the hockey program to NCAA Division I status, UMD under Anastos increased full scholarships to over 15 and played over 20 games per season against NCAA Division I competition which included the likes of Alaska, Alaska–Anchorage, Air Force, Maine, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Union, and Western Michigan. He achieved a 68–37–7 record over three seasons while Michigan–Dearborn administration was simultaneously conducting a three-year evaluation of athletics. [8] The evaluation was supposed to help move UMD from NAIA to NCAA Division II, [9] the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. [7] Instead, the evaluation suggested keeping only the sports the NAIA sponsored or eliminating varsity athletics altogether because a move to NCAA Division II status would increase the athletic budget and quadruple student fees. [10]

Michigan State

With varsity status uncertain at UMD, Anastos accepted an assistant coach position at Michigan State University in 1990. Shortly after Anastos resigned, Michigan-Dearborn dropped varsity hockey since the sport was not sanctioned by the NAIA [10] (the association stopped sponsoring hockey in 1984) and the team was not sanctioned by the NCAA. [10]

On July 21, 1992, Anastos resigned as assistant coach at Michigan State to enter private business in the Detroit area. [11]

Anastos returned to Michigan State on March 23, 2011 when he was named head coach. He succeeded Rick Comley whose contract was not renewed following the 2010-2011 season. Anastos was the sixth head coach in the history of Michigan State hockey. During his first season as head coach, he guided Michigan State to its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament losing to Union College in the first round.

Career as administrator

North American Hockey League

Anastos was president of the North American Hockey League from 1994-1998. As president, Anastos oversaw expansion to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, St. Louis, and Chicago. [12]

Central Collegiate Hockey Association

He was announced as the new commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) on March 18, 1998, a role he served in through 2011. [13] While Commissioner of the CCHA, Anastos was recognized by The Hockey News for his last five years on the list of the 100 most influential and powerful people in the sport. [14] He also served as President of the Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA), a group composed of the five commissioners from NCAA Division I Hockey. In 2010, “he was key in the procuring of a grant from the National Hockey League through USA Hockey. The funding was used . . . to create College Hockey Inc., an educational and promotional entity charged with raising the profile and help foster the growth of college hockey”. [2]


Anastos attended Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan. Anastos received a bachelor's degree in construction management from Michigan State University in 1987.


Before taking the head coaching job in East Lansing, Anastos lived in Farmington Hills, Michigan with his wife, Lisa. They have five children, daughters Lauren, Jenna, Alyssa, and Andrea, and son Andrew. [15] Lauren played four years of NCAA Division III hockey at Adrian College. Jenna played college basketball at Division II Northwood University. Andrea (Andie) is a senior forward and captain on the Boston College Eagles women's ice hockey team.

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Michigan–Dearborn Wolverines (ACHA)(1987–1989)
1987–88Michigan–Dearborn 25–14–310–1–1 [16] 1st
1988–89Michigan–Dearborn 21–12–310–1–1 [8] 1st
Michigan–Dearborn Wolverines(Club)(1989–1990)
1989–90Michigan–Dearborn 22–11–1
Michigan-Dearborn:46–26–6 *20–2–2
Michigan State Spartans (CCHA)(2011–2013)
2011–12 Michigan State 19–16–414–11–3–25th NCAA East Regional Semifinals
2012–13 Michigan State 14–25–39–18–1–011th CCHA Quarterfinals
Michigan State Spartans(Big Ten)(2013–2017)
2013–14 Michigan State 11–18–75–9–6–45th Big Ten Quarterfinals
2014–15 Michigan State 17–16–211–7–2–22nd Big Ten Semifinals
2015–16 Michigan State 10–23–46–12–2–15th Big Ten Quarterfinals
2016–17 Michigan State 7–24–43–14–3–06th Big Ten Quarterfinals
Michigan State:78–121–2448–71–17–9
Total:124–147–30 *

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* Excluding club totals.

Awards and honours

All-CCHA Second Team 1984–85 [17]
CCHA All-Tournament Team 1985 [18]

See also


  1. A new CCHA was formally organized in 2020 and is set to start play in the 2021–22 season. [1]

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  1. "Ex-Minnesota coach Don Lucia picked to run new CCHA hockey league". Associated Press. June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  2. 1 2 CCHA webpage, cited earlier.
  3. Sun-Journal Staff, “UMaine hockey season begins at home tonight,” ‘’Sun Journal,’’ October 27, 1989.
  4. MSU Press Release, March 23, 2011.
  5. 1 2 Jim Vogel, “Wolves season begins,” ‘’The Michigan Journal,’’ October 29, 1986.
  6. Kevin Bonner, “Anastos takes over as hockey coach,” ‘’The Michigan Journal,’’ March 11, 1987.
  7. 1 2 Drew Sharp, “UM-D stresses quality not quantity,” ‘’Detroit Free Press,’’ March 12, 1987.
  8. 1 2 Steve Crowe, “'Little M' seeks the big time,” ‘’Detroit Free Press,’’ October 12, 1989.
  9. Steve Crowe, “UM-Dearborn hopes telecast gives athletic program a boost,” ‘’Detroit Free Press,’’ February 19, 1988.
  10. 1 2 3 Scott Walton, “Sports in jeopardy for Michigan-Dearborn,” ‘’Detroit Free Press,’’ April 5, 1990.
  11. “Sports World,” ‘’Detroit Free Press,’’ July 22, 1992.
  12. USCHO Staff Report, “NAHL’s Anastos Named CCHA Commissioner,” ‘’U.S. College Hockey Online,’’ March 18, 1998.
  13. Jeff Kanan, “Anastos Named Hockey Coach,” ‘’The State News,’’ March 23, 2010.
  14. CCHA webpage [retrieved 3-29-2011]
  15. MSU Hockey Profile page. [retrieved March 29, 2011]
  16. “'Final Regular Season ACHA Hockey Standings,” ‘’The Michigan Journal,’’ March 9, 1988.
  17. "All-CCHA Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  18. "2012–13 CCHA Media Guide". Retrieved 2014-04-23.