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Laval Rocket head coach Jean-Francois Houle leaves for NCAA

Laval Rocket's head coach Jean-Francois Houle watches second period AHL hockey action in Laval, Que. on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press) Laval Rocket's head coach Jean-Francois Houle watches second period AHL hockey action in Laval, Que. on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press)
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Jean-François Houle has left his role as head coach of the Laval Rocket to take up the same position with Clarkson University's NCAA hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday.

Houle signed a three-season contract with Laval on May 29.

His decision puts a mutual end to a three-year association with the Rocket.

Houle spent four seasons with Clarkson, from 1993 to 1997, before embarking on his professional career.

He also served as assistant coach from 2003 to 2010.

"We would like to thank Jean-François for his contribution to developing the culture of our organization and our players," said Rocket general manager John Sedgwick. "During his three years at the helm of the Rocket, his dedication and experience enabled the team to be highly competitive, while adequately preparing many players to make the jump to the NHL. We wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his career."

During Houle's time at the Rocket, the team maintained a 105-86-25 record.

The 49-year-old head coach led his team to the Calder Cup semi-finals in 2021-2022 when the Rocket made its first American Hockey League playoff appearance.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 21, 2024. 

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