• July 16, 2024

Michigan State University’s men’s ice hockey team recently clinched its inaugural regular season Big Ten championship and secured its first conference title since 2001. The mastermind behind this impressive revitalization is now set to continue leading the program, as head coach Adam Nightingale has agreed to a new five-year contract with MSU. The university shared the details of the contract in a press release issued on Thursday, emphasizing Nightingale’s commitment to shaping the team’s future in East Lansing.

New Nightingale Contract Continues Momentum for Spartan Hockey

East Lansing, Mich. – On Thursday, Michigan State’s hockey coach, Adam Nightingale, sealed the deal on a new contract, as announced by MSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller. With the program experiencing success both on and off the ice, this contract extension not only provides stability to the coaching staff but also adds to the positive momentum of Spartan hockey.

“In less than two years, Adam Nightingale has ignited a revival within the Spartan hockey program,” remarked Haller. “While the first-ever Big Ten regular-season championship is a significant achievement, it’s just one aspect of our success story. Off the ice, our hockey student-athletes are excelling academically and actively contributing to our community. Munn Ice Arena has seen the return of sellout crowds, re-establishing it as a formidable home ice advantage. Equally crucial, our dedicated alumni base is united in supporting the program.

“Spartan hockey boasts a proud history of excellence, and we are currently witnessing the latest chapter of success. A few months ago, Adam and I began discussions about him and his staff and how best to sustain the program’s resurgence. With this new contract, we are taking steps to ensure stability and the opportunity for success for many years to come.”

Under Nightingale’s leadership, Michigan State has undergone a remarkable turnaround in college hockey. This season, the Spartans secured their first-ever Big Ten regular-season crown and their first regular-season conference title since 2000-01. With an impressive overall record of 22-9-3 (16-6-2 B1G), the Spartans have achieved their highest number of wins since the 2007-08 season.

In his inaugural season in 2022-23, Nightingale’s impact was immediate, with MSU winning 18 games, surpassing the previous year’s total by six games. The season concluded with a historic upset in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal on the road at Notre Dame, marking MSU’s first-ever postseason wins in the event. Nightingale’s efforts earned him a finalist spot for Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.

Academically, the Spartans have excelled under Nightingale’s tenure, posting a program record 3.3873 cumulative GPA and a 3.4277 semester GPA last fall.

Nightingale’s new five-year rollover contract includes non-performance-related compensation of $700K in the first year, comprising a base salary of $600K and supplemental compensation of $100K. Starting from the second year, the supplemental compensation will see a $25K increase annually. Nightingale is also eligible for a $100K retention bonus every two years, beginning Sept. 30, 2024, provided he has continuously served as the head hockey coach for 24 consecutive months preceding the bonus date. The contract also allocates an increased salary pool for assistants and hockey staff.

As an alumnus deeply rooted in Spartan hockey, with experience at the international, professional, collegiate, and youth levels, Nightingale is the eighth head coach in Michigan State hockey history. Before his tenure at MSU, he served as head coach for two seasons at the United States National Team Development Program and contributed four years of NHL experience, including an assistant role with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2019-20 season.

Currently, as the No. 1 seed in the 2024 Big Ten Tournament, the Spartans enjoy a bye in the quarterfinals and will host the semifinals on March 16 at Munn Ice Arena.

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