Noel Named Blue Jackets Head Coach
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that they have named former Milwaukee Admirals Coach Claude Noel as their interim head coach after the team fired Ken Hitchcock today.
Noel, 54, joined the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on June 28, 2007 after spending four seasons as the head coach of the Admirals. During that time, he led the club to a 183-94-12-31 regular season record, three 100-point seasons and two West Division titles. He also compiled a 33-21 record in the Calder Cup Playoffs, including two appearances in the Finals (2004, 2006). During the 2003-04 season, the club compiled a 46-24-7-3 record and went 16-6 in the playoffs en route to capturing the organization's first Calder Cup championship. That year, Noel was named the AHL's Coach of the Year.
Noel began his coaching career with the ECHL's Roanoke Valley Rebels in 1990-91 and served as the head coach and director of hockey operations of the ECHL's Dayton Bombers from 1991-93. In 1993, he joined the Kalamazoo Wings (later Michigan K-Wings), International Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, as an assistant coach. He was named head coach during the 1995-96 season and served in that capacity through the 1997-98 campaign. From 1998-02, he was an assistant coach with the Admirals and in 2002-03 was named ECHL Coach of the Year with the Toledo Storm before returning to Milwaukee as head coach prior to the 2003-04 season.
Noel appeared in seven games as a forward with the Washington Capitals during the 1979-80 season and spent most of his playing career in the AHL and IHL and was named the latter’s Most Valuable Player in 1982-83 after leading the Toledo Goaldiggers to the Turner Cup Championship. He wrapped up his playing career with Milwaukee in 1987-88.
The Admirals are back in action on Friday night when they finish up a five-game homestand by hosting the Houston Aeros at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center. The first 3,500 fans will take home a goalie oven mitt, courtesy of Palermo’s Pizza. Fans can order tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of ten or more people receive a minimum of $2 off of each 200-level ticket. For more information or to order group tickets call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550.