MSU board approves Comley's appointment as head hockey coach

Contact: Deb Pozega Osburn, University Relations, (517) 355-2281

Apr 12, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today formally approved the appointment of Rick Comley as the Spartans' new head hockey coach.

The former Northern Michigan University coach replaces Ron Mason, who is stepping down as the Spartans' coach to become MSU's director of athletics.

"I know Rick real well, but more importantly, I respect him as a coach," Mason said at a March 25 press conference announcing Comley's appointment. "And to me, he's the best fit for this position and will do an excellent job both with his players on the ice and off the ice."

Comley has been a head coach for 29 years, including 26 seasons at Northern Michigan. He won an NCAA title with Northern Michigan in 1991 and guided Lake Superior State University to an NAIA crown. His teams have earned three CCHA regular-season titles, two CCHA playoff championships, one WCHA regular-season championship and three WCHA tournament crowns.

A native of Stratford, Ont., Comley currently ranks seventh among NCAA coaches in career victories. He won the Spencer Penrose Memorial Trophy as national coach of the year in 1980 and 1991, CCHA Coach of the Year honors in 1980 and 1981, and WCHA Coach of the Year honors in 1989 and 1991.

One of three individuals to win championships in the WCHA and CCHA, Comley is one of eight coaches to win more than 550 games and is one of 10 to post more than 500 victories at one school.

Comley, who will begin his position on April 15 and earn an annual salary of $150,000, earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Lake Superior State in 1972 and a master's degree in education from Northern Michigan in 1973. He is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame at both schools.

He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of a daughter, Gillian, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and a son, Rick, a junior at Northern Michigan.