Rolston tapped to lead Falcons

Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney announced today that Ron Rolston has been hired as the head coach of the Springfield Falcons.

“We are very pleased to name Ron as our new head coach for the Springfield Falcons,” said Maloney. “Ron is an experienced head coach and a great communicator. He has an excellent track record for developing players and we are confident that he is the right coach to lead our top prospects.”

Prior to joining the Coyotes, the 48-year-old Rolston was the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 51 games during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. He spent two years as the head coach of Buffalo’s AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans from 2011-13, guiding the Americans to a record of 79-55-13-5 as well as back-to-back berths in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Rolston spent last season as a professional scout in the Coyotes organization.

Rolston joined the Sabres in 2011 after spending the previous seven seasons as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP), where he led the U.S. Under-18 team to three gold medals and a silver medal in four stints as head coach at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Under-18 Championship, including the 2011 tournament in Germany.

Rolston joined USA Hockey after serving as an assistant coach at four different NCAA Division I hockey programs between 1990 and 2004, winning National Championships in 1992 and 1994 with Lake Superior State University. Rolston was an assistant coach at Boston College from 2002-04 and also served as the top assistant at Harvard University from 1999-2002 and as an assistant coach at Clarkson University (1996-99) and Lake Superior State University (1990-95).

In addition to winning two national titles at Lake Superior State, Rolston also helped guide the team to three straight appearances in the NCAA National Championship game and four CCHA tournament titles in his five-year stint. He was elevated to associate head coach for the Lakers in 1994.

A native of Fenton, Mich., Rolston attended Michigan Tech University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and was a three-year hockey letterman with the Huskies (1986-89), serving as an alternate captain during his senior season. Rolston was the co-recipient of the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award as Michigan Tech’s most outstanding freshman in 1986-87.