Adam Nightingale named finalist for National College Hockey Coach of the Year

Michigan state head coach Adam Nightingale walks off the ice after 5-1 win over Michigan at Yost Ice
Michigan state head coach Adam Nightingale walks off the ice after 5-1 win over Michigan at Yost Ice / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's no secret that when Adam Nightingale returned home to his alma mater at Michigan State it wasn't going to be an easy turnaround. Well his hard work and natural coaching instincts are already paying off.

Though Michigan State hockey fell in the regional final against rival Michigan, they have set themselves on the right path to be in the hunt for years to come.

A lot of that has to do with the job Nightingale has been able to do. From adding talented young talent like Artyom Levshunov who was able to not only win freshman of the year in the Big Ten, but was also the league defensive player of the year.

Levshunov has been projected to quite possibly be a top-five type draft talent in the coming NHL Draft, and he's one of the big reason's why Nightingale has been able to get Spartan hockey back to prominence.

Between having a defensemen like Levshunov and a special goaltender in Trey Augustine, the Spartan Hockey program feels like it has finally been rejuvenated, and because of that we all have something to be happy about even with the season ending on such a tough note.

This was only year two of the Nightingale era, and they have already won the Big Ten regular season and Big Ten Tournament titles. That's something that hadn't been accomplished. Finishing at 25-10-3 with their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2012, not to mention the school's first postseason win since 2008.

The success the team had this season is paying off as Nightingale has been named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, which is given to the top coach in Division 1 college hockey. MSU Hockey made the news offical via X.

The team has plenty of talent to get to this same level next season and has already started making big waves by adding a transfer in defenseman Nicklas Andrews. They also got some big news from Augustine as he made his intentions clear that he would be returning for his second season between the pipes.

Thanks to @JD_Jerbear who covers Spartan Hockey for Rivals, Augustine's announcement of his return was made official on X.

Spartan Hockey is back to the level it belongs, because of coach Nightingale, and it will be exciting to see what he and the team can accomplish next. Hats off to you coach on an outstanding year, and congratulations on being named a finalist for the Penrose Award.

All of Spartan nation appreciates what the 2023-24 MSU Hockey team was able to accomplish, and I for one cannot wait to see what the future holds for the program.