Laker coach interviews continue

April 20, 2014

The interview process will continue at Lake Superior State University on Tuesday.

Providence College assistant coach Ben Barr will be the latest candidate to visit LSSU.

LSSU athletic director Kristin Dunbar is leading a series of interviews that began last week as the Lakers look for a new head coach to replace Jim Roque, who was fired on March 11 after nine seasons at the helm of the Division 1, Western Collegiate Hockey Association team.

The 32-year old Barr brings a rather-impressive resume to his scheduled interview at LSSU, having spent six seasons as an assistant at a pair of highly-regarded, Division 1 hockey programs.

Having just completed his third season at Providence, Barr spent the three previous years at Union College.

Prior to coaching at the Division 1 level, Barr was a top National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athlete at prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

During a four-year career at RPI, Barr won a most valuable player award and was a captain during his senior season.

Barr was also an academic standout at RPI, making the school’s Dean’s List in each of his four years.

Prior to attending RPI, Barr attended and played hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, which is regarded as one of the top prep schools in the United States.

Barr will be the third applicant to be interviewed for the LSSU coaching job.

First in line for interviews last week were Damon Whitten and Ron Fogarty.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

What you think about “Laker coach interviews continue”

  1. From what I’ve heard, Tim Christian and Rich Metro may still be in the running and be interviewed. Are there any others?

  2. I am some one who both like’s and respects Richie Metro but if the Lakers interview Richie after passing on Joey Shawhan then I will know for sure that something just aint right.

  3. hmmmm…well…even I wil admit that Ben Barr has quite the Resume!
    Perhaps Coach Barr will be the next coming of Jeff Jackson who knows.

    Randy – Thanx for this latest Update!

  4. What about Ron Rolston. I heard he was interested but since has pulled his name because of Colorado College opening. Anyone have any knowledge of that?

  5. Ron Rolston isn’t even mentioned for the CC job. Ron would be a great person to rejuvenate the program that it once was. I hope they bring Rolston in for an interview.

  6. Randy – Curious how you think the legislation of unlimited snacks and the forming of a NCCA pay for play players union will affect small D1 schools with limited budgets?

  7. We have never really done a coaching search before. I suppose the upside of bringing people to interview from outside is that they may tell the university administration what the minimal inputs to be successful are. I suspect anyone that does that will be told that they don’t understand the Sault and will sent packing.

    No matter what if all it took to be successful was great coaching, Tech and Northern would be in the Frozen Four every year.

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