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Michigan State, Hockey Coach Adam Nightingale Agree To New Contract

MSU head hockey coach Adam Nightingale has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for the program, and has signed a new contract with the university after leading Michigan State to a Big Ten championship...

Michigan State men's ice hockey just won its first ever regular season Big Ten championship and its first conference title since 2001. Now, the man who has orchestrated this program's remarkable turnaround is receiving a new contract.

On Thursday, MSU announced it had reached an agreement with head hockey coach Adam Nightingale which will keep the Spartan alum in East Lansing for the next five years. Michigan State's full press release announcing the new contract can be read below:

New Nightingale Contract Continues Momentum for Spartan Hockey

East Lansing, Mich. -- Michigan State hockey coach Adam Nightingale has signed a new contract, MSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller announced Thursday. With success building throughout the program both on and off the ice, the contract and stability throughout the staff creates another boost to the momentum of Spartan hockey.

“In less than two years, Adam Nightingale has sparked a resurgence throughout the Spartan hockey program,” Haller said. “Obviously, everyone will point to our first ever Big Ten regular-season championship, but that’s only one part of the success story. Off the ice, hockey student-athletes are performing at a historic level in the classroom, while also playing an active role in our community. Sellout crowds have returned to Munn Ice Arena, re-establishing it as one of the best home ice advantages in the sport. Equally important, our passionate alumni base is united in support of the program.

“Spartan hockey has a proud history of excellence, and we are currently witnessing the latest chapter of success. A couple months ago, Adam and I started having conversations surrounding him and his staff and how best to continue the resurgence of the program. With the new contract, we’re taking steps to ensure stability and the opportunity for success for many years to come.”

Under Nightingale’s guidance, Michigan State has put together one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college hockey. This year, the Spartans captured the program’s first-ever Big Ten regular-season crown and their first regular-season conference title since 2000-01. With an overall record of 22-9-3 (16-6-2 B1G) the Spartans have won more games than any squad since the 2007-08 team was 25-12-3 overall and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final.

In his first season in 2022-23, the Spartans experienced immediate improvement. MSU won 18 games, bettering the previous year’s total by six games. At the conclusion of that season, Nightingale led his squad to a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal upset on the road at Notre Dame, marking MSU’s first-ever wins in the postseason event. The turnaround led to him being a finalist for Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.

In the classroom, the Spartans’ performance has been equally impressive. Last fall, the Spartans posted a 3.3873 cumulative GPA and a 3.4277 semester GPA, establishing program records in both categories.

Nightingale’s five-year rollover contract includes non-performance related compensation of $700K in year one. This includes a base salary of $600K and supplemental compensation of $100K in the first year. Beginning in year two, the supplemental compensation will increase by $25K from the previous year. Nightingale is also entitled to a $100K retention bonus every two years beginning Sept. 30, 2024 (provided he has served continuously as the head hockey coach for 24 consecutive months immediately preceding Sept. 30 of the calendar year in which the bonus will be paid). The contract also includes an increased salary pool for assistants and hockey staff.

A Spartan alumnus with hockey experience at the international, professional, collegiate and youth levels, Nightingale is the eighth head coach in Michigan State hockey history. Prior to his arrival in East Lansing, he was head coach for two seasons at the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP). He also brings four years of NHL experience, with one year in Buffalo and three in Detroit, including the 2019-20 season as a Red Wings assistant. Before joining the pro ranks, Nightingale served as head coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's 14U (Bantam) Team in Faribault, Minnesota, for two seasons (2014-16), as well as two years (2008-10) as the head coach of the Shattuck midget AA squad. Between his stints at Shattuck, Nightingale was the director of hockey operations at Michigan State.

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

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