Toledo’s Lalonde named ECHL Coach of the Year

The ECHL on Tuesday announced that Derek Lalonde of the Toledo Walleye is the 2014-15 recipient of the John Brophy Award as the league’s Coach of the Year.

The John Brophy Award is the trophy presented annually to the ECHL coach selected to have contributed the most to his team’s success as selected in a vote of league coaches. The trophy is named for John Brophy, who won a record three ECHL titles with Hampton Roads in 1991, 1992 and 1998, and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

Spencer Carbery of South Carolina finished second in the voting, followed by Idaho’s Brad Ralph, Greg Poss of Florida and Allen’s Steve Martinson.

The winner of the Defenseman of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday.

In his first season with the team, Lalonde led Toledo to the best single-season turnaround in ECHL history. One season after finishing with 49 points, the Walleye improved by 58 points, finishing the regular season 50-15-7 for 107 points, and capturing the Brabham Cup as regular-season champions. The 107 points are the eighth most in a single season in league history and Toledo became the first team since 2007-08 to win at least 50 games in a season.

Lalonde spent the previous three seasons as head coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, where in 2011-12, he led the club to a 47-9-4 record and the league title. On the international stage, Lalonde coached the United States World Junior U-19 team, which captured a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior “A” Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Prior to his time with the Gamblers, Lalonde spent five years as an assistant coach at the University of Denver. While at Denver, Lalonde compiled a 122-63-19 record and helped lead the Pioneers to two WCHA Championships (2008 and 2010), and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In Lalonde’s tenure at Denver, the team never fell out of the national Top 15 rankings.

John Brophy Award Winners (ECHL Coach of the Year)

2015 Derek Lalonde Toledo Walleye
2014 Spencer Carbery South Carolina Stingrays
2013 Jarrod Skalde Cincinnati Cyclones
2012 Rob Murray
Alaska Aces
  John Wroblewski
Gwinnett Gladiators
2011 Brent Thompson Alaska Aces
2010 Derek Laxdal Idaho Steelheads
2009 Rick Kowalsky Trenton Devils
2008 Chuck Weber Cincinnati Cyclones
2007 Davis Payne Alaska Aces
2006 Glen Gulutzan Las Vegas Wranglers
2005 Nick Vitucci Toledo Storm
2004 Pat Bingham Wheeling Nailers
2003 Claude Noel Toledo Storm
2002 Dave Farrish Louisiana IceGators
2001 Troy Ward Trenton Titans
2000 Bob Ferguson Florida Everblades
1999 Bob Ferguson Florida Everblades
1998 Chris Nilan Chesapeake IceBreakers
1997 Brian McCutcheon Columbus Chill
1996 Roy Sommer Richmond Renegades
1995 Jim Playfair Dayton Bombers
1994 Barry Smith Knoxville Cherokees
1993 Kurt Kleinendorst Raleigh IceCaps
1992 Doug Sauter Winston-Salem Thunderbirds
1991 Don Jackson Knoxville Cherokees
1990 Dave Allison Virginia Lancers
1989 Ron Hansis Erie Panthers