Michigan State Press Release
Michigan State coach Tom Anastos has announced that he has added former Spartan players Kelly Miller and Mike Gilmore to the Spartan coaching staff, along with retaining 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. “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 league 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 Caps 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.
“Kelly is a strong leader whose background and experience represents so many aspects of what we want for our program,” Anastos said. “He had a very successful playing career both at Michigan State and in the NHL. More importantly, he knows what it takes to develop into an NHL player, both as a former player himself as well as through his NHL coaching experience. He shares in my vision for Spartan hockey, is passionate about Michigan State and will be a tremendous addition to our staff.”
“After working with Kelly for two years in the National Hockey League, I know the importance of his impact as he helped return the New York Islanders to the success to which they are accustomed,” said Laviolette, currently the coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. “Along with being a great leader, he is organized, smart and motivated. I know Kelly’s passion is hockey. He is a gifted hockey mind with a desire to return to the coaching ranks. Michigan State University now has a chance to share in that gift.”
Off the ice, Miller earned his M.B.A. during his professional career from Michigan State University (1995), and has been highly successful in the commercial real estate and banking industries, earning a graduate degree in banking from the prestigious Stonier School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania. The Miller family name is perhaps the most well-known in the Spartan hockey program, as 10 members of the family – including Kelly, his brothers, Kevin and Kip, and their father, Lyle – all wore the Green & White.
“This opportunity to be a member of the Spartan hockey coaching staff with four such high-quality people is a dream come true for me,” said Miller. “I look forward to bringing my work ethic, knowledge and passion for the game to the rink each day to help create an atmosphere of energy and excitement that will develop student-athletes for the NHL and for life after hockey. After growing up watching the Amo Bessone era and playing for Coach (Ron) Mason, I understand the expectations of our alumni and the community for this hockey program and look forward to the challenges ahead.”
Newton has been a fixture within Spartan hockey for the last 21 years, and helped recruit some of the top talent in college hockey in addition to being a valuable educator and teacher with the current players and a constant liaison with former Spartan players from all eras of the program’s history. A member of the coaching staff for the 2007 NCAA champions, Newton is both well-known and well-respected within the college hockey community. Newton served on the American Hockey Coaches Association Board of Governors as the assistant coach representative from 1998-2001 and was that organization’s Terry Flanagan Award winner in 2004 (honoring an assistant coach’s body of work). He not only works extensively with the program’s alumni, but runs the program’s annual pro camp each August which brings most of MSU’s current professional players back to East Lansing for a week of on-ice training.
“Tom has been a fixture on the MSU staff for more than 20 years and has a wealth of college hockey coaching and recruiting experience,” Anastos continued. “He has been an integral part of the recruitment and development of many of the very best student-athletes who have played in the program during his tenure. He is highly organized and has very strong administrative skills as well.”
“I’m really very excited to be a part of this staff. I know the other staff members so well that I can say that the quality of person, the passion for Michigan State, and the passion for our hockey program could not be higher,” commented Newton. “Michigan State has been my home for a majority of my coaching life, and continuing with this program is a great thrill.”
Gilmore will join the staff as the team’s volunteer assistant coach and work with the team’s netminders. Gilmore was a Spartan letterwinner for four seasons (1989-92) and appeared in 64 career games, posting a 2.91 goals-against average and nearly 1,500 saves. He was a First-Team Academic All-American as a senior. This is not his first coaching experience with the Spartan program, as he served as the volunteer assistant from 1994-96 at the conclusion of his professional career and helped the team to two NCAA Tournament bids and a 53-25-4 overall mark.
“Mike Gilmore is a highly respected former player who knows what it takes to compete at a very high level,” noted Anastos. “Mike’s primary responsibility will be to work with our goaltenders to ensure that they have the development, leadership and support necessary to be high performers.”
“MSU and Spartan hockey have given me so much in my life that I can’t begin to convey how honored I am to now have the opportunity to return and contribute where needed,” said Gilmore. “I’m excited to get to know the current players and pass on some of the things I learned while wearing the Green and White. I’m very excited to work with a staff of Spartans that I looked up to when I was a player, and now have a chance to work with as a peer.”
Nightingale will continue in his duties as the team’s video coordinator. Nightingale, who played for the Spartans from 2003-05, was an alternate captain for both of his seasons in Green and White. He joined the MSU staff a year ago, and oversees all the team’s video operations, which include in-game analysis, logging video, scouting video and reports, and working one-on-one with players.
“Adam has quickly earned the respect of so many people surrounding the program, and it didn’t take me long to see his talent, intensity and passion for Spartan hockey,” Anastos said. “Adam has a tremendous work ethic, a strong knowledge of the game and will be an important part of our staff.”