WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Wildcats announced Wednesday that Tony Curtale has been named the team's new head coach, replacing John LaFontaine who is leaving to coach in the USHL.
Curtale was the head coach of HC Dallas in the NAPHL, leading the 14U and 15U teams.
"It's very exciting," Wildcats assistant coach Josh Nelson told Newschannel 6 on Wednesday. Nelson will stay with the team under Curtale. "It was a quick surprise and turnaround with everything happening. So to have our minds set and a good direction going forward, I couldn't be more excited to work with Tony."
Previously, Curtale became an NAHL coaching legend with the Texas Tornado and before that, the Springfield Jr. Blues, winning a total of 7 Robertson Cup championships, including 5 with the Tornado.
His 557 regular-season wins is most in NAHL history and he has been named both NAHL Executive of the Year and NAHL Coach of the Year.
"After Coach LaFontaine said he would be leaving, the organization's ownership's first and only interview was Tony Curtale," Wildcats owner Roy Davoult said in a statement released by the team. "Tony was the reason I bought into the Wildcats organization because as a fan, I wanted to beat him bad. Tony knows how to win, with seven Robertson Cups, we (ownership group) wanted a winner. I've gotten to know Tony very well over the years and am looking forward to our relationship."