Michigan Tech has announced that Damon Whitten has been hired as an assistant hockey coach.
Whitten replaces Chris Tok, who left to take a head coaching position with the Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the North American Hockey League.
“I am excited to join (head coach) Jamie (Russell) and (assistant coach) Pat (Mikesch) at Michigan Tech,” said Whitten. “I am familiar with Michigan Tech from both my playing and coaching days Michigan State. I look forward to using my hard work and determination to help the Huskies return to its strong hockey tradition.”
For the past two years, Whitten served as the director of hockey operations at Michigan State where he was in charge of the team’s travel, video and budget. Prior to that, he served a two-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Alaska Anchorage. From 2004-06, Whitten was an assistant coach at Wayne State.
“I am very excited to be able to add Damon to our staff,” said Russell. “Damon has great recruiting experience having worked in the WCHA where he was instrumental in landing players that signed NHL contracts early from our league in Paul Crowder and Jay Beagle. Damon also recruited Tommy Grant who scored 15 goals as a sophomore and Kevin Clark who ranked second in the WCHA last season with 18 goals.
“Damon has a proven track record and has the personality to win recruiting battles. He has learned from tremendous mentors in Ron Mason, Rick Comley, Bill Wilkinson and Dave Shyiak. I remember Damon as a player from my days in the CCHA and he had the work ethic that propelled him from a walk-on to a team captain of the class with the highest winning percentage in Michigan State hockey history. Damon will join Patrick and I to elevate Michigan Tech hockey up the WCHA ladder. We couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of recruiter, coach and person we have added in Damon.”
Whitten was a four-year hockey letter-winner for the Spartans from 1997-2001. He recorded 35 goals and 40 assists for 75 points in 166 career games. The Brighton native was a two-time nominee for the NCAA Hockey Humanitarian Award and was awarded the Blue Line President’s Award as the top senior scholar-athlete at Michigan State. The holder of a bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s in sports administration from MSU, Whitten earned the Amo Bessone Award (athletic, scholastic and community service) and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Team selection.
Following his collegiate career, Whitten spent two seasons playing professionally in the East Coast Hockey League and won a Kelly Cup title with the Greenville Grrrowl in 2001-02.
Whitten begins his appointment at Michigan Tech on June 15.