Jean-Francois LaForest is the new men’s coach at Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He replaces Marlin Muylaert, whose contract was not renewed.
Laforest, 34, was most recently the director of hockey operations for the Port Huron Border Cats of the United Hockey League. He previously spent three years with the Shreveport Mudbugs of the Western Professional Hockey League as both director of hockey operations and head coach. Laforest also has worked with the Canadian National Team.
The Canadian National Team won the Bauer International Tournament and the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship while he was an assistant coach from September 1996 through May 1997. His team at Shreveport won consecutive WPHL playoff championships and the regular-season title once.
For the past year, Laforest has been teaching both elementary and high school classes in Fort Gratiot, Mich. He will be an instructor in the UWEC Department of Kinesiology.
Muylaert compiled a 30-48-3 record in three years at UWEC, including a 12-13-2 record last year.
Muylaert was suspended for 30 days during the 2000-01 season for his actions during a game against Augsburg.
UWEC trailed 9-1 when Muylaert pulled his goalie, allowing Augsburg to score two uncontested goals. That kicked in a former rule in Augsburg’s conference, the MIAC, that allows a team ahead by 10 goals to have the game switched to running time. USCHO.com reported that Muylaert removed his team from the ice, eventually resulting in a forfeit victory for Augsburg. He claimed the difference in penalties, 23 for UWEC and 10 for Augsburg, made a “dangerous situation” for his team.
A month later, the NCAA forced the MIAC to abolish the so-called “mercy rule” that was in direct conflict with the NCAA rulebook.