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MSU's new hockey coach makes more than predecessor, rival at UM


New Michigan State hockey coach Adam Nightingale has signed a five-year rollover contract that will extend automatically every June unless the school provides him with written word that the annual extension will cease, according to his contract, obtained by The News.

If the school provides such written word, the contract will revert to a five-year deal from that point.

Nightingale's annual salary is $470,000, up from his predecessor, Danton Cole, who also signed a five-year rollover deal when he was hired in 2017 and earned slightly more than $385,000 a year before he was fired in mid-April after five seasons, a 58-101-12 record and no NCAA Tournament appearances.

Nightingale's $470,000 salary includes base pay of $385,000 plus an additional $85,000 for making appearances on behalf of the university.

By comparison, Michigan head hockey coach Mel Pearson makes $400,000, including a $350,000 base.

Under Nightingale, Michigan State hockey will have $365,000 with which to hire two full-time assistants and a director of operations. Nightingale also will get the typical head-coaching perks, including hockey, football and basketball tickets, an automobile, and a country club membership.

Nightingale, 42, is the eighth head coach in Michigan State hockey history, and the two-time MSU alternate captain returns to East Lansing with a lengthy resume, most recently as head coach of the United States National Team Development Program. He spent four years in the NHL, including as a Red Wings assistant coach under then-head coach Jeff Blashill during the 2019-20 season.

He becomes the second head coach hire under new athletic director Alan Haller, who hired Leah Johnson as head volleyball coach. Haller now is looking for a head men's tennis coach and softball coach, following the retirements of Gene Orlando (31 seasons) and Jacquie Joseph (29 seasons), respectively.

Michigan State hockey, once a national powerhouse with three national championships, most recently in 2007, hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2012.

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tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984