On August 8, 2011, Derek Lalonde was named head coach/GM of the Green Bay Gamblers. He is the sixth head coach/GM in the history of the franchise. In his first year, he led the Gamblers to both the Anderson and Clark Cups. The regular season mark of 47-9-4 set a USHL Tier 1 record for wins in a season, fewest loses, points in a season (98), and road victories in a season (25). The team never lost consecutive games throughout the regular season or playoffs, and Lalonde was named USHL Coach of the Year. The team also made history at the annual NHL Draft as Jordan Schmaltz became the second Gambler, joining Blake Wheeler (Phoenix Coytoes/2004) to be drafted in the first round (St. Louis Blues 25th overall).
In 2012-13, Lalonde led the Gamblers to a 37-23-4 record and a second place finish in the Eastern conference. One of the many highlights, was the setting a franchise record with 15 straight wins at home. The Gamblers also saw success in the 2013 NHL Draft, when Gustav Olofsson was chosen 46th overall by the Minnesota Wild. On the international stage, Lalonde served as an assistant with the United States World Junior A/U19 team, which captured a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior “A” Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Lalonde will serve as head coach of the United States at the 2013 World Junior “A” Challenge.
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. Lalonde recruited and coached first round NHL draft picks Joe Colburne and Beau Bennett, and second round NHL picks Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Patrick Weircoch – all of whom saw NHL action in 2012-2013.
Lalonde’s Divison 1 coaching career began at Ferris State in Big Rapids, Michigan. Lalonde served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs for three seasons (2003-06). In his first year at Ferris State the Bulldogs posted a school best 31-10-1 mark in route to their first and only CCHA Championship and also qualified for NCAA tournament.
Lalonde also coached two of the most sought-after NHL College free agents of all time in Chris Kunitz (currently with the Pittsburgh Penguins) and Tyler Bozak (Toronto Maple Leafs).
Lalonde is a member of the Warren Strelow goaltender mentoring program and has had success in goaltender development. The last four collegiate goaltenders that he worked with signed NHL contracts at the conclusion of their graduation – Mitch O’Keefe (Ottawa Senators), Glen Fisher (Edmonton Oilers), Peter Maninno (NY Islanders), and Marc Cheverie (Florida Panthers). Under the tuteledge of Lalonde, Green Bay netminder Ryan McKay was named USHL Goaltender of the Year (2012).
Lalonde played collegiate hockey at Cortland State and received the Red Letter Award as team MVP his senior year. He graduated with a B.S.E in Physical Education in 1995 and later received a M.A. in Education Administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1998.
Lalonde is a native of Brasher Falls, NY and is married to Melissa Lalonde. They have three children Alex (7), Luke (5) and Abby (3).
Pat Mikesch returns to the Gamblers coaching staff this season as the team’s Associate Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel . Mikesch brings a great deal of coaching and playing experience at both the collegiate and professional level. Mikesch will work with all facets of the Gamblers hockey program.
Prior to the Gamblers, Mikesch spent six seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Michigan Tech University of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. On the international level, Mikesch has led the United States U-17 team to three straight gold medals at the Five Nations Cup (2011, 2012 & 2013). In Mikesch’s three years behind the bench at the Five Nations Cup, the U.S. team is a perfect 15-0-0
Mikesch was a four-year member (1992-96) of Michigan Tech’s hockey team. He helped the Huskies to three WCHA Final Fives in four years. During his freshman campaign, Mikesch was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as well as Michigan Tech’s Freshman of the Year. Mikesch was a three time member of the WCHA ALL-Academic Team and served as the Huskies team captain for the 1995-96 season. Mikesch is one of the most decorated players to ever adorn the Huskies jersey, as he ranks seventh all-time in scoring with 169 points (57 goals and 112 assists). After his collegiate career, Mikesch played eight years of professional hockey in the AHL, IHL, ECHL and in Germany.
Mikesch is no stranger to the USHL spending a pair of seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers (1990-92). Mikesch was a teammate of former Gamblers head coach Eric Rud on the 1992 Buccaneers team that captured the Clark Cup.
Pat and his wife Amiee currently reside in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They have two sons, Austin and Eliott and a daughter, Kallianne.
Boyd enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Gamblers after spending the past year serving as a student assistant coach at Western Michigan University. His responsibilities will include game analysis, video breakdown, recruiting and working with the team’s defensemen.
Boyd played his collegiate hockey at Bowling Green State University from 2006-10 appearing in 90 games as a forward, netting 10 career goals and totaling 22 points. The Columbus, Ohio, native also spent time in the ECHL and SPHL after graduating with a degree in education in 2010.
Along with his minor-pro hockey career Boyd interned with the Atlanta Thrashers in the hockey operations department and was also a scout for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.
Carl Lackey enters his 10th year as the Gamblers honorary coach.
Lackey played his collegiate hockey at Michigan State University under legendary coach Amo Bessone. The Sault Ste. Marie,Michigan native captained the Spartans in 1964. That same season, Lackey garnered First Team All American Honors. A draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings, Lackey played 10 years of professional, seven of which were spent with the Green Bay Bobcats. Lackey also represented the United Statesat the 1969 World Championships in Sweden and again in 1974 in Yugoslavia.
A member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, Lackey retired from professional hockey in 1974. After his playing career, Lackey remained in the Green Bay area serving as Guidance Counselor at Green Bay East, Preble and Southwest High Schools.