Lake Superior State University has appointed long-time assistant Jim Roque as its new head hockey coach, according to a statement released by the LSSU Sports Information Office on Monday.
He replaces Frank Anzalone.
Roque assumes duties immediately, and fourth-year assistant coach Tim Christian will remain in that capacity.
"We believe that there is a need for change in our hockey program, and that this is the best possible decision we can make," said Bill Crawford, director of athletics.
Anzalone compiled a 32-97-20 record since his rehiring in 2001-02, and has an overall record of 223-205-42 in his 13 years with the Lakers. His first stint as head coach at LSSU was from 1982-83 through 1989-90.
Roque has been an assistant at Lake Superior for 10 years, and worked in the same capacity at Clarkson University for six seasons. He is a 1987 graduate of LSSU and is tied for 19th in all-time scoring, totaling 144 points as a play-making center.
"Jim brings continuity to the coaching situation," said Crawford. "I am confident that he will do a great job. He recruited many of our players and knows our strengths and weaknesses. I hope that Laker fans everywhere will continue to support the program."
Roque, a Killarney, Ont., native, was an assistant at LSSU was from 1988-91 and in 1994-95. After six seasons as an assistant at Clarkson, he returned to LSSU again in 2001. He also spent 2 ½ seasons coaching in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 1991-93.
Roque is the ninth head coach in the 40-year history of Laker hockey.
However, Anzalone's attorney, James P. Lambros, released a statement on Tuesday contesting the grounds of Anzalone's dismissal:
"Head coach Frank N. Anzalone has been wrongfully terminated pursuant to the terms of his contract with Lake Superior State University, and will seek redress in the courts against those responsible for his unjustified discharge."
Lambros, a former player at Michigan State who is now an attorney in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., declined to elaborate on the grounds of Anzalone's complaint pending the filing of his suit against the school.
Full LSSU press release here.