Minnesota State, St. Cloud State head coaches named to USA Olympic team staff
The two coaches will be part of a five-man staff under head coach David Quinn. The Olympics will take place Feb. 4-20 in Beijing.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Head coaches from two of the top-ranked teams in NCAA Division I men's hockey have been named to the staff for the USA Olympic men's hockey team.
USA Hockey announced on Thursday, Jan. 6 that St. Cloud State's Brett Larson and Minnesota State University-Mankato's Mike Hastings will be assistant coaches for the Americans under head coach David Quinn. The other staff members will be Scott Young (director of player development for the Pittsburgh Penguins), David Lassonde (national goaltending coach for USA Hockey) and Alex Dawes (video coach at Penn State).
“We have a group of assistants who not only bring passion and experience, but who know how to win,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in a news release. “Together with David Quinn, we’re thrilled with the group of coaches that will lead our team in Beijing.”
This will not be the first time that Larson and Hastings have coached for USA Hockey in international competition.
Larson was an assistant coach under Minnesota Duluth's Scott Sandelin for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Hastings was the head coach for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships.
St. Cloud State (12-6) is No. 3 in the PairWise Rankings, which try to mimic the criteria used by the NCAA to determine its 16-team national tournament field. The Mavericks (18-4) are No. 1 in the PairWise. SCSU and MSU-M played one another in a nonconference series Oct. 8-9 in Mankato and split the two games. The Huskies beat the Mavericks 5-4 in the national semifinals last season.
The two coaches have extensive coaching resumes.
Larson, who played defense for Duluth Denfeld High School and Minnesota Duluth (1991-95), has had two stints as an assistant coach at UMD (2008-11 and 2015-18). He's also been an assistant coach at Ohio State (2013-15) and was the head coach and general manager for the Sioux City Musketeers (2011-13) of the United States Hockey League.
At St. Cloud State, Larson has a record of 55-27-9 overall. He led the Huskies to an NCHC regular season title and was named NCHC Coach of the Year in 2018-19. Last season, he led the Huskies to a second-place finish in both the NCHC regular season and tournament and to the program's second trip to the Frozen Four where they lost to Massachusetts in the national championship game.
Hastings, who played defense for Crookston High School and St. Cloud State (1986-88), was an assistant coach at St. Cloud State (1990-91, 1993-94), the head coach and general manager for the Omaha Lancers (1994-2008) of the USHL and then was an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota (2008-09) and Nebraska Omaha (2009-12) before taking over as head coach of the Mavericks. A two-time Spencer Penrose Award winner as national college coach of the year, Hastings and his Minnesota State teams have won more games over the last 10 seasons than any other program in the country. Over that time, the Mavericks have racked up a record of 254-93-24.
The Mavericks won six WCHA regular season titles, three WCHA playoff titles and made six NCAA tournament appearances under Hastings.
In February, St. Cloud State has three series scheduled in February (vs. Western Michigan, Feb. 4-5; at Nebraska Omaha, Feb. 18-19; vs. Colorado College Feb. 25-26). The Huskies will be run by associate head coach Dave Shyiak and assistant coach Nick Oliver in Larson's absence.
In February, MSU-M also has three series scheduled in February (at Bowling Green, Feb. 4-5; vs. Bemidji State, Feb. 18-19; at Michigan Tech, Feb. 25-26). The Mavericks will be run by associate head coach Todd Knott and assistant coach Paul Kirtland in Hastings' absence.