Anastos picks Michigan State assistant coaches

New Michigan State coach Tom Anastos has added former Spartan players Kelly Miller and Mike Gilmore to the Spartan coaching staff, and also retained Tom Newton as an assistant coach and Adam Nightingale as the team’s video coordinator.

“I’m excited to have our staff in place so that we can really begin to move forward with all aspects of the program,” Anastos said in a statement. “I believe that we have built a coaching staff that will identify and bring to Michigan State quality student-athletes, develop them into NHL-caliber talent, and prepare them for life after hockey. These four coaches have a passion for the game and also a passion for Spartan hockey. I’m looking forward to working with them as we prepare to develop and enhance the existing relationships with our student-athletes, alumni and Michigan State community.”

Miller will serve as a full-time assistant coach along with Newton, who will be entering his 22nd year on the Spartan bench.

Miller is one of the program’s all-time greats who not only is one of the all-time leading scorers in program history, but also spent 18 years in professional hockey both as a player and a coach.

As a player, he was considered one of the top defensive forwards in the NHL, playing more than 1,000 games during his 15-year playing career with the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, and was a Stanley Cup finalist with the Capitals in 1998. As a coach, he served as an assistant for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Anaheim Ducks, and as Peter Laviolette’s top assistant for two years with the New York Islanders.

Gilmore will be the team’s volunteer assistant coach and work with the team’s goaltenders. Gilmore was a Spartan letterwinner for four seasons (1989-92) and appeared in 64 career games, posting a 2.91 goals-against average. He also served as the volunteer assistant from 1994-96.

Former assistant coach Brian Renfrew was not retained after eight season on the MSU staff.