WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine is leaving after 2 seasons to join the Muskegon (MI) Lumberjacks of the USHL.
Muskegon made the announcement Wednesday, saying it is effective immediately, though LaFontaine will be in Wichita Falls for the Wildcats' second main camp at the end of July. The Wildcats announced that the search for a new coach is already underway.
LaFontaine led the Wildcats to their two most successful seasons in franchise history, including the Robertson Cup championship game this past season. He had a record of 83-27-10 in two years, earning the first four playoff series win in Wildcats history.
"It's sincerely tough to leave Wichita Falls," LaFontaine said in a written statement released by the team Wednesday. "I've never met more friendly people. We had such a loyal fan base that's been growing and is on the right track."
LaFontaine is a Michigan native, and the move will put him much closer to his family, while also giving him a chance to coach at the top level of American junior hockey.
Wildcats assistant coach Josh Nelson, who spent his first season in town last year, is expected to remain with the team.
"The organization is in great hands," LaFontaine said. "And I know in my heart that the remaining staff will continue to lead the Wildcats down that path."