Men's Ice Hockey Assistant Coach
Layne LeBel begins his second season as an assistant coach with the Notre Dame hockey program.
The 32-year old LeBel joined the Irish coaching staff in late August of 2003 after spending two seasons with the United States Hockey League[apos]s Green Bay Gamblers.
In his first season at Notre Dame LeBel contributed to the success of a talented defensive corps that helped the Irish set school records for lowest goals-against average (2.42), save percentage (.925) and shutouts in a season (6).
During his time in Green Bay, LeBel had the opportunity to work with several players who moved on to play at Notre Dame. The three, all defensemen, includes sophomores Noah Babin and Wes O[apos]Neill and freshman Dan VeNard. [quote]Layne was a great addition to our staff last season,[quote] said head coach Dave Poulin. [quote]He had a strong impact on the success of our defense last season.[quote]
A native of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, LeBel[apos]s duties with the Irish include working with the defense (a group that will include four freshmen for the 2004-05 season) and assisting with recruiting and game preparations.
As an assistant in Green Bay, the Gamblers won the Eastern Division title in 2000-01. Prior to his stint in Green Bay, LeBel was the head coach for the Wisconsin Midget AAA hockey club.
A 1994 graduate of Michigan Tech University, LeBel, a defenseman, was a four-year regular with the Huskies and is sixth all-time among Michigan Tech defensemen in scoring with 25 goals and 68 assists for 93 points in 149 career games. He also had 71 penalties for 156 minutes during his career.
A two-time finalist for the WCHA defensive player of the year, LeBel was an honorable mention all-WCHA selection and a WCHA all-academic selection following the 1992-93 season. That year, he also was awarded Michigan Tech[apos]s Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. He was a key member of the 1994 Michigan Tech team that orchestrated one of the biggest upsets in college hockey when the 10th-place Huskies upset top-ranked Colorado College in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
Following graduation, LeBel played one season in the Central Hockey League for the Memphis Riverkings, finishing seventh in scoring with 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points in 45 games. He then moved on to Germany for five seasons with Duisburg EV and Regensburg EV in the German Division I and II leagues.
LeBel and his wife, Molly, reside in Granger with their new son Mason, who was born in May.