But since taking over in 2011, it's been everything but a smooth ride for the MSU alumnus.
In his five seasons as the head coach of the Spartans, Anastos notched an overall record of 71-98-20, and has led MSU to three losing seasons.
Anastos’ team currently sits at a record of 4-15-1 in his sixth season at the helm. A former head coach at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Anastos is on pace to record his fourth losing season as the Spartans’ head coach.
Despite the string of dispiriting seasons, Anastos has coached two All-Americans, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in his first season as head coach and led the 2014-15 Spartan team to a second place finish in the Big Ten regular season standings with a 17-16-2 overall record and 11-7-1 record in the Big Ten.
But in this time and age, an abundance of fans are quick to forget the past and only focus on the “what can you do for me now” mantra.
If that’s the case for Spartan fans, then cue the infamous “Fire Anastos” buzzword.
Anastos was able to break two consecutive overall losing records with a record of 17-16-2 in the 2014-15 season, but that still isn’t enough for Spartan faithful.
In the 2015-16 season, Anastos and the MSU hockey team followed their second winning season under Anastos with a losing record of 10-23-4.
Some fans were agitated, searching for answers and wanting changes.
Anastos said he believes he is at fault when his team is losing.
“I feel all the pressure in the world,” Anastos said. “I hate it. I feel tons of pressure. When you're not having success, at least the way I feel about it, I mean I’m ultimately responsible. When you’re not having success, you feel that you’re letting your players down, your colleagues, in the case of the school, the school, the administration, fans, your family, everybody because it’s all-consuming.”
Excluding the 2014-15 season, the Spartans’ overall wins have so far dropped each season under Anastos’ reign.
“What’s hard is you put tons of pressure on yourself, there's expectations,” Anastos said. “I don’t want to let the athletic director down, I don’t want to let the (university) president down, I don’t want to let my colleagues down that come to work every day, I don’t want, most of all, I don’t want to let our team down.”
It’s questionable if Hollis would take the route of relieving Anastos of his head coaching duties before his contract expires. But what is almost certain is if Anastos can’t find a way to turn MSU hockey around by June 2018, Hollis will most likely opt out of renewing Anastos’ contract.
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