Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coach Lassonde Leaves for DU; Who Will Replace Him?

It's official - Coach David Lassonde has accepted an offer to become the Assistant Coach at the University of Denver. In an article published by the Denver Pioneers Official Athletics website Lassonde said:
"I am excited to begin this new chapter of my coaching career at the University of Denver...I was very impressed with the facilities, culture and sense of family witnessed during my recent visit to Denver. I got a feel early on that it would be a good fit, and I am anxious to begin working with the student-athletes at Denver."
At UNH, Lassonde was responsible for coaching the goalies and defensemen. He taught a number of UNH's best goalies including All-Americans Ty Conklin, Mike Ayers, Kevin Regan and Brian Foster. For many summers, Lassonde has coached at a number of USA Hockey camps including the Warren Strelow National Team Goaltending Camp.
Coach Lassonde had this to say about his many years at UNH:
"I want to express my gratitude to Marty Scarano, Dick Umile and all the people I have had the pleasure to work with during my second tour of duty in Durham. I will be forever appreciative of the opportunity UNH has given me to pursue my dream of coaching at the collegiate level. I also want to thank all the current and past UNH players I have had the pleasure of coaching. One of the big reasons why we enter this profession is to have the opportunity to work with young men and watch them grow as people and develop as players. I am grateful to them for making my time at UNH such a rewarding one."

In Coach Lassonde, UNH had a full-time coach who was also a goalie coach. Among NCAA hockey programs, this reportedly is the exception rather than the rule. According to an article on ESPN Boston most Hockey East teams have part-time "volunteer" goalie coaches in part because the NCAA does not permit teams to employ four paid coaches. These volunteer coaches are also not allowed to recruit prospective goalies. In an era when elite goalies are seeking specialized training, it can be an advantage to have a full-time goalie coach on the payroll.

Potential Candidates?
With classes starting in a few weeks and the preseason game against New Brunswick scheduled for Oct. 1st, UNH does not have a lot of time to fill Coach Lassonde's position. I have no idea who may be under consideration for the job but I thought I'd toss out a few names:
Patrick Foley
After leaving UNH in 2004, former three-time captain Patrick Foley went on to coach two years at the U.S. National Team Development Program. For the past 4 years, he has served as Assistant Coach at Harvard where he was responsible for coaching the defensemen and special teams. Earlier this month, the United States Hockey Report reportedly identified Foley as the new Assistant Coach at Northeastern. However, to date, there has been no official announcement from Northeastern and Foley still appears as an Assistant Coach on the Harvard hockey website. Even if Patrick Foley was available, he would not bring an expertise in goaltending.
Mike Ayers
Another 2004 graduate of UNH, former goalie Mike Ayers, has spent the last two seasons as the goalie coach at St. Cloud State University. A few days ago, he was named the goaltending coach at the U.S. National Team Development Program and coordinator of the Warren Strelow Camp. He apparently is not available.
Chris Economou
Economou is the goalie coach for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL and trains goalies such as Ty Conklin and Matt DiGirolamo during the summer. Beyond that, I don't know much about him.
It will be interesting to see what develops. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
Northeastern has announced that Patrick Foley is their new Assistant Coach.


Blogger wewonthecup85 said...


Aug 18, 2011, 10:10:00 PM  

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