Northern Michigan puts Kyle on administrative leave; assistants to take charge

Walt Kyle has been head coach at Northern Michigan since 2002 (photo: Melissa Wade).

Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle has been placed on administrative leave by the school, which did not identify the reason for the move.

WLUC-TV reported that Northern Michigan athletic director Forrest Karr said it’s unknown how long the leave would be in place.

The Wildcats’ associate athletic director, Bridget Berube Carter, also was placed on indefinite administrative leave, according to WLUC. Berube Carter’s primary duties in the athletic department are NCAA compliance, student-athlete affairs and oversight of sports information.

Assistant coaches Rob Lehtinen and John Kyle, Walt Kyle’s brother, will share coaching duties in the head coach’s absence, Karr said. The Wildcats play at Penn State on Friday and Saturday.

WLUC reported that Karr told Wildcats players about the move before practice on Tuesday.

Walt Kyle has been head coach at his alma mater since 2002, amassing a 232-215-56 record and one NCAA tournament appearance. He was an assistant to Wildcats coach Rick Comley from 1982 to 1992, helping the team to the 1991 national championship.

Northern Michigan spent five weeks in the Division I Men’s Poll this season, reaching No. 17 on Nov. 10.

The Wildcats lost twice at Alabama-Huntsville last weekend to fall to 9-8-5 overall and 6-8-4 in the WCHA.

Check back for more details.


  1. 13 seasons and he has a sub-.500 record, and only one tournament appearance (one and done), perhaps this will allow the school to show Walt Kyle the door.

  2. The coverage of this story has repeatedly failed to mention his background as an assistant coach in the NHL and a head coach at the major junior and AHL levels. People around college hockey, and particularly townies around Marquette fail to give him the respect he’s earned. His achievements as NMU’s head coach have gone unnoticed because he’s getting OK results out of very sub-par players….everyone focuses on the so-so results but they forget that all the good players are going to Minnesota or Boston University or Michigan and Walt Kyle is working with recruiting scraps here.
    No respect. It’s sad to see.


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