Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Michigan State adds Clarkson's Mike Towns to Nightingale's coaching staff

June 8, 2022
<p>MSU men’s hockey celebrates after Spartans score during the first period against Penn State at Munn Ice Arena on Feb. 25, 2022. The Spartans fell to the Nittany Lions with a score of 5-3.</p>

MSU men’s hockey celebrates after Spartans score during the first period against Penn State at Munn Ice Arena on Feb. 25, 2022. The Spartans fell to the Nittany Lions with a score of 5-3.

Photo by Audrey Richardson | The State News

Head coach Adam Nightingale has added another person to his coaching staff.

Clarkson associate head coach Mike Towns has joined the staff as an assistant coach, linking with associate head coach Jared DeMichiel as a hire by Nightingale. 

Towns spent the last three seasons as an associate head coach at Clarkson, where he helped guide the Golden Knights to a 55-25-13 record. Before that, he spent five years with American International College and had a hand in the revival of the struggling program. 

"Mike is another great addition to our staff who has recruited and developed talented players and quality student-athletes that have turned around the fortunes of two college hockey programs," Nightingale said in a statement. "His work at AIC as the recruiting coordinator was a big part of helping that program be a consistent winner along with helping maintain Clarkson's success as a top-20 program. His ability to connect with players and help them develop into the best version of themselves will be a huge asset to our program. We look forward to welcoming Mike and his family to Spartan hockey."

Towns has ties to the state of Michigan, dating back to his playing days at Division III Adrian College. He was an alternate captain for two years and team captain for another two, leading the program to an NCAA Division III Frozen Four appearance. Following his graduation, Towns played professionally for three years with stops in the CHL and ECHL. 

Towns is the second member of the team to join Michigan State from Clarkson, reuniting with graduate defenseman Michael Underwood. Underwood accumulated 12 points over the last three seasons with Towns on the bench.  

"I could not be more excited for the opportunity to join the Michigan State hockey program," Towns said. "I am grateful that Coach Nightingale has afforded me this opportunity and for the ability to work at such an incredible institution. The Spartan hockey program has an elite history and tradition of championship hockey and producing NHL players. Coach Nightingale has coached at the highest levels of hockey, and I am eager to work with him and learn from his experiences. My wife Dianna and I have many roots in the state of Michigan, and we are excited to get back."

Michigan State also announced Wednesday that it would again be participating in the Great Lakes Invitational in December. The tournament will be moved to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Tech, Western Michigan and Ferris State round out the four competing teams, notably excluding Michigan, who canceled a GLI matchup with Western Michigan last year, citing roster limitations due to the World Junior Championships and health and safety protocols. It will be the Wolverine's first absence from the tournament since 1973. 

MSU is scheduled to face Ferris State in the first round of the invitational.

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