Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Providence, RI- After spending a season away from Division III hockey as an assistant coach at Bemidji State, former Division III goaltender and coach James LaCour is home again. Johnson and Wales today announced the hiring of LaCour as the fifth head coach of the school's men's hockey program. LaCour replaces Erik Noack, who left the Wildcats to fill the vacancy left by John Rolli's retirement at UMass Dartmouth.
“We are excited to have James join our staff as our head men's ice hockey coach,” Athletic Director Jamie Marcoux said in the school's release. “He has worked with some excellent hockey programs and coaches in his tenure as an assistant. He has tremendous knowledge, a genuine excitement and love for the game and is ready to take over the reins for the Wildcats.”
Bemidji finished with a record of 17-16-6 overall and 11-12-5 in the WCHA under his guidance in 2015-16, a mark that was good enough to assist in qualifying for the conference tournament. The Beavers lost in a quarterfinal series to Bowling Green by a two games to one margin. LaCour primarily worked with the team's goaltenders, and was also the team's assistant in charge of hockey operations.
Prior to Bemidji, LaCour spent the prior three seasons as an assistant coach at Williams under Bill Kangas. The Ephs won 48 games in his three year tenure, and Lacour's assistance helped to lay the groundwork for the first NCAA tournament appearance, and tournament victory, in school history in 2016. The Ephs had postseason success in LaCour's presence as well, advancing to the NESCAC championship game twice and reaching the semifinal on an additional occasion.
As a player, LaCour played four seasons at Salem State under Bill O'Neill. He spent his senior season as the team's starter, going 12-5-1 en route to the 2011 MASCAC championship game. He played a portion of his first three seasons as well, including a night in the Fall of 2009 where LacCour, as a junior, backstopped the Vikings with 31 saves en route to a shocking 3-0 shutout win over St. Norbert at the St. Scholastica tournament. After earning a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Salem in 2011, LaCour also enjoyed a brief professional career in the French third division.
LaCour inherits a Wildcats team that went 11-11-4 in the 2015-16 campaign, and includes all-conference netminder Joey Ballmer. In addition to starting his own career as a head coach, LaCour will also lead the Wildcats into a new era of hockey, as the teams of the former ECAC Northeast transition to the Commonwealth Coast Conference this fall.