Youth movement in East Lansing as Michigan State tabulates former Shattuck coach Adam Nightingale – The Rink Live
EAST LANSING, Mich. — For any coach who started their career at the bottom of a college hockey program, Adam Nightingale’s story provides a roadmap to climbing the ladder.
On Tuesday, May 3, Michigan State announced that Nightingale, 42, would take over as the Spartans’ next head coach. The announcement comes about 12 years after MSU announced that Nightingale, who played forward at school for two years in the 2000s, would be the Spartans’ new director of hockey operations.
Nightingale returns to East Lansing after two seasons coaching with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. This experience, more recently, notably led the American team to a silver medal at the U18 World Championships, which ended last weekend in Germany.
A native of Cheboygan, Michigan, a small town on Lake Huron at the northern end of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Nightingale began his college playing career in Lake Superior State, then transferred to the state. of Michigan for his last two years and served as alternate captain for the Spartans under head coach Rick Comley.
After retiring from minor league hockey in 2008 after four seasons in the ECHL, Nightingale worked at his alma mater for four years in the role of hockey operations – a job that involved a bit of everything from on-ice work with video-vented players arranging flights, hotels and meals for team road trips.
His first head coaching experience was in Minnesota, when Nightingale led the U14 AAA teams at Shattuck-St. Mary’s for two seasons, coaching future stars like Gophers defenseman Jackson LaCombe. From there he made that leap straight into the NHL, working as a video coach for the Buffalo Sabers and Detroit Red Wings before going to USA Hockey.
Nightingale inherits an MSU program that has taken up residence in the basement of the Big Ten rankings in recent years, prompting the school to leave former coach Danton Cole in April. Cole, 55, came to Michigan State (where he played) after successful stints in Huntsville, Alabama and with USA Hockey, but went 58-101-12 in five seasons with the Spartans. MSU announced his layoff on April 12.
While the program Nightingale inherits has struggled on the ice, it will have significantly revamped its facilities to show potential recruits. Munn Ice Arena, which opened in 1974 and has 6,100 seats for hockey, is in the midst of a $26.2 million renovation project that will include a new weight room, practice room, a video room, conference rooms and administrative offices.
Michigan State remains the most recent Big Ten program to win an NCAA hockey title. The Spartans – then members of the CCHA – defeated Boston College for the Frozen Four crown in 2007.