After 7 years as head coach of Lake Forest College men's hockey, Patrick Kelliher is resigning to relocate with his family. He will be replaced by Sean O'Malley, the team's top assistant for the last seven years.
Lake Forest is 87-64-16 overall and 66-47-9 in conference play since Kelliher took over as head coach and O'Malley became his assistant in 2014. The Foresters reached the semifinals of the 2018 and 2019 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Harris Cup Playoffs and qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in 29 years in 2019-20. The team has been nationally ranked on several occasions and listed as high as #6 in the nation during his tenure.
"I look forward to watching Coach O'Malley lead this program to new heights in future years," Kelliher said. "There could not be a better or more deserving person to take over the helm. Sean's tireless efforts over the past seven years have been a huge part of where this program is today."
O'Malley, who has also been the Foresters' head women's golf coach since 2017, came to Lake Forest from the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he served for two seasons as an assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, and academic advisor. He has also been an on-ice instructor at Can/Am Hockey Schools in New York and Ontario and for the Ohio Hockey Project, where he coached Junior A players. In addition, he has also served as an evaluator with USA Hockey Development.
As an athlete O'Malley was a hockey player and golfer at St. Ignatius High School and is a member of the St. Ignatius Hockey Hall of Fame. He also played hockey as a post graduate for Gilmour Academy and the Syracuse Stars of the EJHL. After four years on the team at the College of Brockport, O'Malley pursued a professional career with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League and various minor league teams.
"While he certainly has big shoes to fill, we are confident Coach O'Malley will do just that," noted Interim Director of Athletics Blake Theisen. "He has been a big part of the program's success since he arrived on campus in 2014 and the team will continue to benefit from his talent, work ethic, and experience as a coach, as well as the continuity he provides during this transition."
"I am extremely humbled and honored to be the next head men's ice hockey coach here at Lake Forest College and remain involved in the campus community," stated O'Malley. "I am eager to get started and thankful to the College's administration for giving me this opportunity."
"It has been a pleasure to work alongside Coach Kelliher the past seven years. His vision and values for this program has created a tremendous culture at the rink and in the classroom. I will always be thankful he brought me to Lake Forest College."
"Moving forward we want to continue the tradition of excellence and hold the same values and standards for our program. I will continue to work diligently to provide our players an opportunity to be successful both on and off the ice."
The transition from Kelliher to O'Malley as head coach will occur on June 1.