Danton Cole has enjoyed tremendous success with the US National Development program since taking over in 2013. Cole is an MSU alum and enjoyed a more or less successful career in the NHL. Most of Cole’s allure comes from the players he has coached in the program that are playing at the next level. A lot of Cole’s success is evident in the success of his players as they graduate and move on from the development program.
A lot of the Spartan faithful are calling for Danton Cole to be the next head coach at Michigan State. At a glance, it makes the most sense. Cole has the reputation in the hockey community both in Michigan and nationally. It is well-known that Cole is a great hockey coach. Truth be told, there is not much here that I can say that you all don’t already know. He’s an alum, a great coach and a great guy. Perfect fit, right?
Previous to his experience as the head coach of the development program, Cole was the head coach of University of Alabama-Huntsville. His best year would come in 2009-10 when he miraculously led UAH to the NCAA tournament with a meager 12 wins (a conference tournament championship can do that). Cole’s team would lose their first game in the tournament 2-1 to #1 Miami University, a very impressive result for a team that maybe should not have been there.
The National Development Program is loaded with D-1 talent. Currently, only one player is uncommitted to a D-1 college hockey program. Cole is not only identifying talent, he is developing it exceptionally. His success with developing players could definitely lure more high-end talent to East Lansing.
Given the nature of this coaching search, I would be surprised if Cole is not tabbed as the next head coach at Michigan State. It’s as good a fit as there is.
With that being said, I would really like to see candidates of various connections to the university get a fair shake in the process. The fact that Cole is an alumni does not mean that he is necessarily the best candidate. Luckily, Cole has much more than that going for him. He should have been hired the last time around. Let’s hope that Hollis makes the right call this time around, regardless of who gets the job.