By @MichaelCaples –
Lakers coach Damon Whitten is now under contract through the 2021-22 season.
Lake Superior State announced tonight that Whitten, the bench boss for the LSSU hockey program since 2014, has signed a four-year contract extension.
“University presidents look for qualities of character more than records when assessing coaches,” said Lake Superior State President Dr. Peter T. Mitchell in a release. “Damon Whitten is a person of great personal integrity and genuine compassion for his players. He emphasizes sportsmanship, hard work, and a commitment to excel on the ice and in the classroom. His team’s GPA is consistently above 3.0 and the current players are great ambassadors in the community.
“Winning traditions in collegiate and professional sports have one thing in common, they trust and support a coach of integrity and they eventually become winners. I trust Damon and his assistant coaches; I believe in them and in the players. I have been particularly proud of the way they all have responded to adversity and finished the season with sweeps at Bemidji and Anchorage. With this new contract, I look forward to Coach Whitten building a hockey program at Lake State known for integrity, grit, and class, on and off the ice.”
Whitten holds a 43-90-18 record in four seasons with the WCHA-based program. The Lakers recorded a 10-22-4 record this past campaign.
A rebuild of a college hockey program is a difficult task for anyone, but today’s extension is certainly a vote of confidence for the Brighton native and Michigan State alum.
“On behalf of our staff and our families I would like to thank Dr. Peter Mitchell and Dr. David Paitson for their support and the opportunity to continue to lead the storied hockey program at LSSU,” said Whitten. “We are privileged to be at a University and in a community where we are able to build quality relationships. We look forward to continuing that work with our student-athletes, within the campus community and across the twin Soo communities.”
Whitten worked as an assistant coach for Michigan Tech for four seasons before heading to Sault Ste. Marie; his time with the Lakers is his first as a college hockey head coach.
“We are very excited to continue to have Damon at the helm of the Lake State hockey program,” said Director of Athletics Dr. David Paitson. “We believe Damon’s leadership and dedication will help reestablish the Laker Hockey program as one of the elite programs in college hockey.
“As a department, we are aiming to build stability throughout our coaching staff and retaining a high-level leader with a commitment to our vision, such as Damon, goes a long way in helping us reach our goals.”