McKelvie out, Kelliher in as head coach at Lake Forest

Lake Forest announced recently that Ryan McKelvie will not return for a fourth season in 2014-15 and that assistant coach Pat Kelliher has been promoted to head coach on an interim basis.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Lake Forest College community in this new capacity,” said Kelliher in a news release. “Coach McKelvie has been a great mentor and has certainly done a tremendous job in building momentum for the program. I want to thank president Stephen Schutt and director of athletics Jackie Slaats for entrusting me with this great privilege. With the quality of education and athletic facilities in place, the college has provided our program with everything we need to be successful. I will continue to work diligently to make Forester hockey one of the premier teams in the country.”

Per college policy, a national search will be conducted, with Kelliher as a candidate, at the conclusion of his interim appointment.

“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve as the men’s hockey coach here at Lake Forest College,” added McKelvie. “This is a special place and we have special group of young men on this hockey team, which made this a very difficult decision. The players have worked incredibly hard these past three years and I am proud of where they have taken this program. I am also eager to see what the future holds for Forester men’s hockey. I can’t thank director of athletics Jackie Slaats enough for giving me this opportunity as I will always look back fondly on my time here. Everyone at the college, from the faculty and staff to the students, have made this a tremendous experience for me. Most importantly, I want to thank all of the players who have given so much of themselves to this hockey program and have impacted my life so positively.

“My wife and I have decided to move on to a new chapter in our lives. We are excited to be moving to Wenatchee, Wash., my wife’s hometown [and] where we first met, and where we have often discussed making our home. I’m inspired to have the opportunity to grow hockey in the northwestern United States and look forward to a new experience starting this elite development program for high school aged players.”

Kelliher and McKelvie have led the Foresters to a 10-game improvement over the last two seasons and the 2013-14 team recorded the program’s best overall record in a decade. Lake Forest finished 15-12-1 overall this past season and posted a 11-7-0 mark in NCHA play, the squad’s best conference record in 27 years.