The news out of East Lansing on Tuesday will likely have a ripple effect that will be felt right here in Hockey Valley.
Michigan State Spartans head coach Rick Comley announced that he will retire at the end of the season, bringing to a close an outstanding career as a college hockey coach.
Coach Comley is in his ninth season with the Spartans after spending twenty-six years as the head coach at Northern Michigan. At NMU, he became one of just twelve coaches to win 450 games at one school and one of ten to post 500 victories at the same institution.
In 1991, Comley's Wildcats won the NCAA title with a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Boston University in triple overtime in the National Championship game in St. Paul, Minn.
I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Comley prior to the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship game in Grand Rapids. His Spartans knocked off top-seed Notre Dame to advance to the Frozen Four in St. Louis, where he would win his second NCAA championship trophy.
Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis said Tuesday, "A thorough national search will begin immediately to identify Coach Comley's successor as the head coach of the Michigan State hockey program."
That thorough national search will likely include several candidates who are already on the radar of Joe Battista and others who will make the decision on who will be the inaugural coach of the Nittany Lions.
As of this writing, I haven't been able to get in touch with the always busy JoeBa for a comment.
Among those who may have second thoughts could be Wisconsin women's coach Mark Johnson, the latest in Kyle Rossi's series of potential candidates.
Now, we return you to our regularly scheduled programming, and a chat with Icers assistant coach Josh Hand.
Last weekend, Josh did a great job of guiding the Icers to a sweep of West Chester. This weekend, it's another must win series on the road at #4 Delaware.