Laforest Steps Down at Eau Claire

Wisconsin-Eau Claire men’s hockey coach Jean Laforest has resigned to become the first head coach and director of hockey operations in franchise history for the new Youngstown SteelHounds of the minor league CHL.

Laforest leaves the Blugolds after three years as the head coach. In his second season, the Blugolds achieved their first winning campaign in nine years, going 14-12-1. This past season, the team finished 8-15-4 after dealing with a number of injuries. Laforest was a full-time university employee with academic responsibilities in the school’s department of kinesiology in addition to athletics.

“I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to work for the SteelHound organization,” said Laforest.

No deadline for replacing Laforest has been announced, but Eau Claire athletic director Scott Kilgallon said he will set a timeline and procedure for replacing the Laforest.

Laforest’s resignation marks the second new D-III head coaching vacancy this week. Brian Hills stepped down at Geneseo to become an assistant at RIT’s emerging D-I program.