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)

2015Derek LalondeToledo Walleye
2014Spencer CarberySouth Carolina Stingrays
2013Jarrod SkaldeCincinnati Cyclones
2012Rob Murray
Alaska Aces
 John Wroblewski
Gwinnett Gladiators
2011Brent ThompsonAlaska Aces
2010Derek LaxdalIdaho Steelheads
2009Rick KowalskyTrenton Devils
2008Chuck WeberCincinnati Cyclones
2007Davis PayneAlaska Aces
2006Glen GulutzanLas Vegas Wranglers
2005Nick VitucciToledo Storm
2004Pat BinghamWheeling Nailers
2003Claude NoelToledo Storm
2002Dave FarrishLouisiana IceGators
2001Troy WardTrenton Titans
2000Bob FergusonFlorida Everblades
1999Bob FergusonFlorida Everblades
1998Chris NilanChesapeake IceBreakers
1997Brian McCutcheonColumbus Chill
1996Roy SommerRichmond Renegades
1995Jim PlayfairDayton Bombers
1994Barry SmithKnoxville Cherokees
1993Kurt KleinendorstRaleigh IceCaps
1992Doug SauterWinston-Salem Thunderbirds
1991Don JacksonKnoxville Cherokees
1990Dave AllisonVirginia Lancers
1989Ron HansisErie Panthers