MANCHESTER, N.H. — Southern New Hampshire University athletic director Chip Polak has announced the resignation of men’s hockey coach Rene LeClerc.
“I would like to thank Rene for the outstanding leadership he provided to our hockey program,” said Polak. “When the job opened up eight years ago I was looking for a true hockey professional. Rene not only met those qualifications, but exceeded them.”
LeClerc recently completed his eighth season as head coach at SNHU. He recorded his 100th career win during a season-opening victory over Johnson & Wales University and led the Penmen to an appearance in the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament this winter.
A 1971 graduate of SNHU, LeClerc posted a winning season in six of his eight years at SNHU and finished with a 111-82-16 career record. He ranks second in career wins and first in career winning percentage (.569) in program history. He was named the Northeast-10 Coach of the Year in 2005-06 after leading the Penmen to a school-record 18 wins and an appearance in the championship game of the NE-10 Tournament. He guided the Penmen to the title game of the ECAC/NE-10 Tournament in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006.
“It was a great eight years and I enjoyed every minute of it,” said LeClerc. “I think the program improved every year, and that was one of my goals when I took the job. I plan on staying close to the program, but it will also be nice to take a winter vacation if I feel like it for the first time in eight years.”
Prior to taking over at his alma mater, LeClerc spent 11 years as head hockey coach at Manchester Central High School. His coaching career began in 1971 when he was named head hockey coach at Driscoll High School in Addison, Ill., and his resume also includes a five-year stint as an assistant coach at SNHU during the early 1980′s.
LeClerc, is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Berlin, N.H., where he was a member of the hockey team. He went on to play collegiately at SNHU and served as the team’s captain as a junior and senior. A former Division I college hockey official, he is a past president of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association. He will be inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame this Sunday.
LeClerc has been an active member of the SNHU Alumni Association and was presented the association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1995. He and his wife Fayne reside in Candia, N.H.
“Rene will be missed by everyone connected with the Southern New Hampshire hockey program,” said Polak. “Now he will have the time to teach his grandchildren how to skate.”