WCHA Press Releases

Minnesota State leader has built the WCHA's flagship program in Mankato
Mike Hastings Named WCHA 2010s Coach Of The Decade Presented By Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup And Spire Credit Union
Minnesota State leader has built the WCHA's flagship program in Mankato

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 17, 2021 –Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings has been named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Coach of the Decade for the 2010s, the WCHA announced Wednesday. The honor is presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup and SPIRE Credit Union.

Hastings, who is in his ninth season at Minnesota State in 2020-21, has led the Mavericks to six MacNaughton Cup titles, including an unprecedented four in a row from 2017-18 through 2020-21. The six regular season titles tie him for third all-time in the WCHA with long-time Michigan Tech head coach John MacInnes, trailing only the seven crowns won by a pair of fellow Coach of the Decade honorees – Denver's Murray Armstrong (1960s) and Minnesota and Colorado College's Don Lucia (2000s).

The Crookston, Minn., native has compiled a nine-season record of 234-88-24 (.710) with Minnesota State. His .710 career winning percentage is the best in WCHA history for any coach with more than 300 games in the league and he is the only man with a career winning percentage above .700 in WCHA annals. His 234 career wins rank No. 18 in WCHA coaching history and are the most in the NCAA over the last nine seasons.

In league games, Hastings has led the Mavericks to a 168-50-19 (.757) mark along with the six regular season titles. His .757 winning percentage also tops all WCHA bench bosses. In the WCHA postseason, Hastings has guided MSU to three WCHA tournament crowns (2014, 2015, 2019) and his squads have advanced out of the first round in all nine seasons of his tenure. This season marks the Mavericks' eighth consecutive trip to the WCHA semifinals.

In his first year as head coach of the Mavericks in 2012-13, Hastings was named WCHA Coach of the Year after leading MSU to a 24-14-3 mark, the team's first top-half league finish since 2007-08 and the Mavericks' second-ever NCAA tournament appearance. He followed that up with a WCHA postseason title and another NCAA berth in 2013-14 and regular season and postseason crowns in 2014-15 along with a third-straight trip to the NCAAs. MSU shared the WCHA regular season title in 2015-16 and reached the postseason championship game that season.

In 2017-18, Minnesota State began its historic run atop the WCHA standings. Over the last four seasons, MSU has posted an 80-26-6 (.741) record in WCHA competition to take home four-straight MacNaughton Cups and is poised to earn its third-consecutive NCAA tournament bid this season. Over the last three full WCHA seasons (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20), MSU averaged 22 wins a season in WCHA play and 30 victories overall per campaign.

The fourth coach in Minnesota State program history, Hastings arrived in Mankato following a three-year stint as the associate head coach at former WCHA member Omaha. He also served as an assistant coach with the men's hockey program at Minnesota for one season and before that had a 14-year run as head coach of Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League. He left the USHL as the league's all-time winningest coach, compiling a 529-210-56 (.682) record with the Lancers and led Omaha to three Clark Cup titles as the USHL's playoff champions. He was named USHL Coach of the Year three times and as the team's general manager, earned league GM of the Year honors five times.

In international play, Hastings led the United States to a silver medal at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. national junior team at the 2003 and 2005 WJCs and served twice as head coach for the U.S. junior select team that competed in the Viking Cup, earning gold medal honors in 2000.

Hastings is the seventh and final Coach of the Decade honoree announced by the WCHA during the 2020-21 season. The WCHA is also honoring an outstanding player and selecting an All-Decade Team for each decade as the league celebrates 70 Years of Excellence. The WCHA 2010s Player of the Decade will be announced March 18.

Mike Hastings Year-by-Year
Season School (Conference) Overall Conference (Place) WCHA Postseason NCAA
2012-13 Minnesota State (WCHA) 24-14-3 16-11-1 (T-4th) WCHA Quarterfinal Midwest Semifinal
2013-14 Minnesota State (WCHA) 26-14-1 20-7-1 (2nd) WCHA Champion Northeast Semifinal
2014-15 Minnesota State (WCHA) 29-8-3 21-4-3 (1st) WCHA Champion Midwest Semifinal
2015-16 Minnesota State (WCHA) 21-13-7 16-5-7 (T-1st) WCHA Runner-up  
2016-17 Minnesota State (WCHA) 22-13-4 15-9-4 (3rd) WCHA Semifinals  
2017-18 Minnesota State (WCHA) 29-10-1 22-5-1 (1st) WCHA Semifinals West Semifinal
2018-19 Minnesota State (WCHA) 32-8-2 22-5-1 (1st) WCHA Champion East Semifinal
2019-20 Minnesota State (WCHA) 31-5-2 23-4-1 (1st) Tournament Cancelled Tournament Cancelled
2002-21 Minnesota State (WCHA) 20-3-1* 13-1-0 (1st) WCHA Semifinals*  
Totals   234-88-24* 168-50-19    
*- As of 3.14.21

Other Top Coaches of the 2010s

Dave Hakstol, North Dakota: Won two MacNaughton Cups and one Broadmoor Trophy from 2009-13 while leading North Dakota to a 105-48-18 (.667) record during that span. Scott Sandelin, Minnesota Duluth: Led the Bulldogs to their first national championship in 2010-11 and compiled a record of 87-56-18 (.596) in the WCHA between 2009-13. Tom Serratore, Bemidji State: Won WCHA Coach of the Year honors in 2016-17 after leading the Beavers to a MacNaughton Cup crown and again in 2019-20 when he led the Beavers to a berth in the WCHA semifinals. Became just the 20th coach in WCHA history to coach in more than 400 games in the league this season.

WCHA Coach of the Decade Winners

1950s: Vic Heyliger, Michigan
1960s: Murray Armstrong, Denver
1970s: Herb Brooks, Minnesota
1980s: Gino Gasparini, North Dakota
1990s: Dean Blais, North Dakota
2000s: Don Lucia, Minnesota
2010s: Mike Hastings, Minnesota State

For more on the 2010s and the rest of the WCHA's history, visit our 70 Years of Excellence Page.

Celebrating 70 Years of Excellence

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association will celebrate 70 Years of Excellence throughout the 2020-21 season. The league will name all-decade teams and players and coaches of the decade for each of its seven decades. The teams and individuals will be selected by a panel of current and former WCHA staffers and media members who have or are currently covering the WCHA. More than 200 nominees were submitted for consideration by the 21 schools that have called the WCHA home since 1951.

About Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup

Anderson's Maple Syrup Inc. is proud to continue its 90-year tradition of producing, processing, and packaging consistently high-quality pure maple syrup, organic pure maple syrup, and other maple products. For more information, visit Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.

About Spire Credit Union

Founded in 1934, SPIRE Credit Union's commitment to friendly, personal and genuine service remains today. Founded as Twin Cities Co-ops Credit Union, SPIRE strives to improve lives through banking with a purpose as one of Minnesota's top credit unions. For more information, SPIRE Credit Union.

About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men's League

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, is marking its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.