FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The CCHA today announced that Tom Anastos, the league’s Commissioner since March of 1998, has tendered his resignation to accept the position of head hockey coach at Michigan State University.
“Congratulations to Tom and his family; this is a terrific opportunity,” stated Greg Christopher, Bowling Green State University Director of Athletics and Chair of the CCHA Council.
“On behalf of everyone in the CCHA, we thank Tom for his 13 years of leadership. As Commissioner, Tom helped elevate the CCHA to the top of college hockey. We move forward with a strong foundation in place. The Executive Committee and full Council are committed to the future of the CCHA. Our ongoing conversations about the future shape of the CCHA will continue. The CCHA staff is a strong and cohesive group, with the ability to keep things moving forward. Fred Pletsch has been involved with the league for 10 years and understands our vision. Fred is best positioned to lead the CCHA during this transition and will assume the role of Interim Commissioner. In the coming weeks, we will finalize search plans for our next Commissioner, then communicate and move forward accordingly.”
Anastos, who is No. 46 on The Hockey News list of 100 People of Power and Influence in the sport, enjoyed a four-year playing career at Michigan State during which the Spartans swept the regular-season and playoff titles each year. He has served as a hockey administrator for the past sixteen seasons.
“I am excited about returning to my alma mater to lead the Spartan hockey program to national prominence,” stated Anastos.
“That said, my 13 years as CCHA Commissioner have been special. I am proud of what we have collectively built in this league and I know there’s a bright future for the CCHA. Even beyond the horizon of Big Ten hockey, the eight CCHA institutions are committed to excellence in Division 1 hockey. In the coming weeks, I’ll work with Fred and the Executive Committee to make sure there is a seamless transition in the league office.”
Pletsch was hired by the CCHA in September of 2001 as the league’s Director of Communications and promoted to the position of Associate Commissioner in 2007. He will work with Anastos, Christopher and the CCHA Executive Committee in the transition process, which is expected to be completed around the next scheduled league meetings in Naples, Fla., on April 25-27.
The CCHA just completed its 40th season of play with over 15,000 fans at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to watch the Miami RedHawks capture their first league playoff championship with a 5-2 victory over the Western Michigan Broncos, who were making their first appearance in the title game since 1986. Miami and Western Michigan join Michigan and Notre Dame this coming weekend to represent the CCHA in the NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament. The conference has produced eight national champions since forming in the 1971-72 season.
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