Derek Lalonde named new Walleye head coachWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo Walleye have named Derek Lalonde the team’s new head coach.
Lalonde comes from the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he has been head coach and general manager since 2011.
Lalonde wants build a culture of success in Toledo, according to a news release from the team.
“My whole coaching career has been about player development, and in the ECHL there has to be a balance between player development and winning,” he said. “That’s why I think I’m a good fit for Toledo and Toledo is a good fit for me.”
“We are extremely pleased to have Derek on our team,” said Walleye President Joe Napoli in the release. “He was the one who stood out during a very rigorous interviewing process of quality candidates.”
Under his leadership in Green Bay, the team compiled a record of 111-54-14, including regular season and playoff championships in 2011-12. He was also USHL Coach of the Year in 2012. He was also head coach of the U.S. U19 National Team which earned gold at the World Junior A Challenge in November 2013.
Lalonde’s coaching experience includes assistant coach at the University of Denver (2006-11), Ferris State University (2002-06), Hamilton College (2000-02), Lebanon Valley College (1998-00) and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (1995-98). He played collegiate hockey at Cortland State University in Cortland, New York from 1991-95 as a goaltender.
He’s married to his wife Melissa, and has three children, Alex, 8, Luke, 5 and Abby, 3.
Former Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci, who had led the team since its inception in 2009, announced Feb. 25 he was stepping down, effective immediately, but would stay on with the hockey club in a position to be determined. Assistant coach Dan Watson took over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.