Athletic director Kristin Dunbar is leading a series of interviews this week as Lake Superior State University zeroes in on a new head coach to replace Jim Roque, who was fired on March 11 after nine seasons at the helm of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Lakers.
A search committee, headed by legendary coach Rick Comley — who guided Division 1 teams at LSSU, Northern Michigan University and Michigan State University over a 38-year period before retiring in 2011 — sifted through about 50 applications before moving forward a list of candidates to Dunbar.
Interestingly, one of the first candidates slated to be interviewed, Damon Whitten, has a prior history with Comley as an assistant coach at MSU.
Whitten, who also played at MSU from 1997-2001, has been an assistant coach at Michigan Tech University the past four seasons. He has also been an assistant at Wayne State University and University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Also on the list of early interviews for the vacant Laker coaching job is Ron Fogarty.
Fogarty has been the head coach at Adrian College the past seven years.
Under Fogarty, Adrian has become one of the top Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association programs in the country.
Surprisingly, one applicant who will not be interviewed for the Laker coaching position is Joe Shawhan.
A Michigan Soo native, Shawhan played at LSSU and was later a goalie coach and assistant coach with the Lakers.
Shawhan has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Northern Michigan and prior to that, had a very-successful 10-year run as head coach of the erstwhile Soo Indians of the North American Hockey League.
But a source within LSSU said the search committee did not forward Shawhan’s coaching application to Dunbar for an interview.