|(above) DU assistant coach Derek Lalonde has been named the head coach and general manager of the USHL Green Bay Gamblers|
by Weston Hodkiewicz
Derek Lalonde has been hired as the new head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers, sources confirmed Friday.
Lalonde comes to Green Bay after five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver and becomes the sixth head coach in the Gamblers’ 17-year history.
The Gamblers had been searching for a new coach since Eric Rud left last month to accept an assistant coaching position at his alma mater, Colorado College.
Green Bay will mark the first head-coaching stop for Lalonde, a native of Brasher Falls, N.Y., who played collegiate hockey at SUNY Cortland State from 1990-95.
The Denver Post first reported Lalonde’s hiring.
Lalonde interviewed for the position last week and was considered one of four finalists along with Gamblers assistant coach Jon Rogger, Air Force assistant Mike Corbett and former Michigan Tech assistant Pat Mikesch, who was a volunteer assistant with the Gamblers during their Clark Cup playoff run this past season.
During Lalonde’s five years with the Pioneers, Denver posted a 122-63-19 record and made four consecutive NCAA Division I tournament appearances from 2008-11. Prior to Denver, he served a four-year stint as an assistant at Ferris State.
It’s the second consecutive year Green Bay has considered an assistant from Denver for the team’s head-coaching position, as Pioneers associate head coach Steve Miller was a finalist for the position after the departure of Jon Cooper last August.
Lalonde inherits a team that went 41-15-4 in the United States Hockey League regular season and advanced to the Clark Cup playoffs finals, where it lost to Dubuque 3-1 in a best-of-five series.
Despite not being selected as the team’s head coach, Rogger is expected to return for a fourth season as the Gamblers’ assistant coach.