Phone: (734) 327-9251, ext. 314
Danton Cole is in his third season as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. He is guiding the U.S. National Under-17 Team during the 2012-13 campaign.
Cole most recently served as head coach of Team USA at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Under-18 Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. His gold medal winning squad went undefeated in the tournament, posting a perfect 6-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record while giving up only six goals throughout, an all-time tournament best. Additionally, Cole’s Under-18 Team claimed the 2011 Four Nations Tournament title in Monthey, Switzerland.
Domestically, Cole led the Under-18 Team to a 17-7-4 (W-L-OTL) record within the United States Hockey League. Those results, combined with the U.S. National Under-17 Team helped Team USA reach the USHL Clark Cup playoffs for the second straight season. He also steered the Under-18 Team to a 7-8-2 (W-L-T) showing against NCAA Division I and III opponents.
During the 2010-11 campaign, Cole guided the Under-17 Team to first place finishes at the 2010 Four Nations Cup in Woodridge, Ill. and the 2011 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia. The Under-17 Team also placed second at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Canada. Overall, the Under-17 Team amassed a 12-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record in international play.
Prior to his time with the NTDP, Cole spent three years as head coach of the men’s ice hockey team at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He led the Chargers to their second-ever College Hockey America championship in 2010, as well as their second NCAA Division I tournament berth in program history.
In addition to serving as a coach in the college ranks, Cole brings a wealth of experience coaching at the professional level. He served as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the American Hockey league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, from 2002-05. During that span, he became the winningest coach in team history with a 116-72-17-3 (W-L-T-OTL) record, while guiding the Griffins to the Calder Cup playoffs in both the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.
Cole then spent part of 2004-05 and all of the 2005-06 season as the head coach of the United Hockey League’s Motor City Mechanics before joining the college realm as an assistant coach at Bowling Green State University in 2006-07.
Cole’s coaching career began in the 1999-2000 season when he was named an assistant coach for Grand Rapids, then of the International Hockey League. He spent one more season with the Griffins before earning his first job as a head coach with the Muskegon Fury of the UHL in 2001. During the 2001-02 season, he guided the Fury to a 48-22-0-4 (W-L-T-OTL) record and the Colonial Cup championship.
The Pontiac, Mich., native got his first taste of international coaching experience when he served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. However, Cole was no stranger to the international game, having played as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team at three International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championships (1990, 1991, 1994), earning Outstanding U.S. Player recognition in 1991.
As a player, Cole appeared in 318 games in the National Hockey League from 1989-96, including stints with the Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks. He was part of the Devils squad that earned its first Stanley Cup title in 1995.
Prior to embarking on his pro career, Cole was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan State University from 1985-89. While a Spartan, Cole appeared in 180 games and compiled 163 points (69-94). He was part of the Ron Mason-led Michigan State squad that captured the 1986 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. In 1989, he received the Big Ten Medal of Honor as MSU’s top student-athlete in both scholarship and achievement. Cole was named to three Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Teams and twice served as an assistant captain for the Spartans. He was named Most Valuable Player his senior season and graduated with a degree in finance.