Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats announced Thursday that Pat Kelliher, an assistant men's hockey coach at the College since 2010, has been promoted to head coach. Kelliher takes over for Ryan McKelvie, whose resignation was also announced on Thursday.
"I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Lake Forest College community in this new capacity," began Kelliher. "Coach McKelvie has been a great mentor and has certainly done a tremendous job in building momentum for the program. I want to thank President Stephen Schutt and Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats for entrusting me with this great privilege. With the quality of education and athletic facilities in place, the College has provided our program with everything we need to be successful. I will continue to work diligently to make Forester Hockey one of the premier teams in the country."
"I'm confident that I leave Forester Hockey in good hands with Pat Kelliher taking over as head coach of the team," began McKelvie. "Over the past three years, I have worked closely with Pat and watched him grow into one of the top young coaches in the country."
"Pat has done a terrific job helping lead our men's hockey team over the last four seasons and we are fortunate to have a coach of his caliber already on staff," commented Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats. "I am excited about the the current status of the program and trust that with Pat's passion for hockey, knowledge of the game, strong character, and undying work ethic, the team's future looks even brighter."
Kelliher and McKelvie have led the Foresters to a 10-game improvement over the last two seasons and the 2013-14 team recorded the program's best overall record in a decade. Lake Forest finished 15-12-1 overall this past season and posted a 11-7-0 mark in NCHA play, the squad's best conference record in 27 years. In addition to receiving votes in both major Division III men's hockey polls at the end of the regular season, the Foresters also recorded a 10-game unbeaten streak in the second half of the year.
The Lake Forest defense, which Kelliher has overseen since he came to the College, was a key component in the team's recent improvement. The Foresters surrendered 4.14 goals per game in 2011-12 but just 2.84 scores per contest over the last two seasons. In addition to the team's defense, Kelliher has run the Forester penalty kill unit, which has been ranked among the top 20 in the nation each of the last two years.
Kelliher, a Rochester, New York native, graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, in May of 2010 and was a member of the Saints' hockey program for four years. He was awarded the Dr. James S. Street Seventh Player Award as a senior for unsung contributions to the success of the Saints' team.
Per College policy, a national search will be conducted, with Kelliher as a candidate, at the conclusion of his interim appointment.