Next steps for MSU men’s hockey following Hastings’ departure

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 9:58 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Back in 2012, the Minnesota State Athletic Department brought in Mike Hastings to take over head coaching duties for the Maverick men’s hockey team. On Thursday, the three-time national coach of the year says goodbye to MSU as he accepts a head coaching gig with the Big 10′s Wisconsin Badgers.

What’s next for MSU? Athletic Director Kevin Buisman stopped by KEYC News Now after the news broke to share the latest information.

Mary Rominger: Kevin, the biggest question that surrounds today’s news of head coach Mike Hastings moving on to a new opportunity in Wisconsin is: What’s next for the Minnesota State men’s hockey team and who could potentially fill that role next year with his departure?

Kevin Buisman: Well, we’ve anticipated this might be a possibility for for some time and have prepared for this moment. And the process is already in motion, and my phone and my inbox are getting filled up with interest and that’s a great credit to coach Hastings and and the success he’s had with this program the level of interest there is and that opportunity right now.

MR: From your perspective. Can you speak to the significance and the legacy that coach Hastings leaves on Mankato?

KB: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean the level of success is unprecedented, already mentioned the two runs to the Frozen Four multiple regular season and and post-season conference titles, NCAA tournament appearances as he’s done it all you know, he came to us with the plan and he’s made good on that plan and we’re forever grateful for the impact that he’s had on Maverick hockey and the fans following and the excitement around the program and and he’s created an outstanding foundation and we’re looking for somebody to come in and build upon that success.

MR: You were there when Hastings announced to the players what his decision was going to be to move on with Wisconsin. Can you share what the mood in that conversation was?

KB: Generally, I think you know the players were happy for Mike. I mean, they’re sorry to see him go. But but they know that that he is contributed in a way to their own development and to development of this program. So I think they’re Happy you know for him and the opportunity, sad to see him go but looking forward to the next chapter.

MR: We all know the looming reality of what is the NCAA transfer portal and when a coach like Mike Hastings leaves the program you think what is a university doing to try and prevent as much as they can players wanting to exercise that option?

KB: Well have good communication with the team. I think you know I was able to be down there and I think reassure them that we’re going to move through this process quickly. We’re going to find an excellent new leader for the program and to just reassure them to be patient with a process. Let it play out and that we’re gonna have outstanding leadership for that program very soon.