Toledo Walleye head coach Derek Lalonde was introduced on Monday as the new head coach of the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild.
Lalonde joins the Wild after two seasons with Toledo, where he posted an overall record of 97-35-12. His .715 winning percentage ranks second all-time in ECHL history.
Lalonde was named ECHL Coach of the Year following his first season in 2014-15 when he led the Walleye to the Brabham Cup title with a record of 49-14-7 for 105 points, one season after finishing with 49 points. Toledo’s 56-point improvement is the best single-season turnaround in ECHL history.
In his second season with the Walleye, he led the club to its second consecutive North Division title, the first time Toledo captured consecutive division titles since the Toledo Storm won three straight division crowns from 1991-92 through 1993-94. Lalonde finished third in Coach of the Year voting this past season.
Lalonde becomes the 13th active head coach in the American Hockey League with ECHL ties joining Albany’s Rick Kowalsky, Bakersfield’s Gerry Fleming, Binghamton’s Kurt Kleinendorst, Bridgeport’s Brent Thompson, Hershey’s Troy Mann, Lake Erie’s Jared Bednar, Lehigh Valley’s Scott Gordon, Manitoba’s Pascal Vincent, Rockford’s Ted Dent, San Jose’s Roy Sommer, Texas’ Derek Laxdal and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Clark Donatelli.