The Reading Royals of the ECHL today announced that the contract for Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Larry Courville has been extended through the 2016-17 ECHL season. Consistent with team policy, terms of this contract extension were not released.
“Our organization is extremely pleased to commit to Coach Courville through the 2016-17 season,” said Royals’ President Drew Bell. “Larry has achieved a level of success in his five-plus seasons in Reading that few have accomplished in this league’s history. He has led with a strong and reliable character that has proven successful in building positive relationships with his players and staff. Larry is a tireless recruiter of top-level talent, and he has exhibited a unique understanding of and command over some of the more difficult roster management issues presented by our league. He has been willing to engage in an open and honest dialogue with our fans. And although I’m sure that Larry is extremely proud of the success that his teams have achieved so far—and particularly the championship that he and his team brought to Reading in 2013, I’m just as confident that his competitive drive will continue to push him to achieve remarkable results in the future.”
“I would like to thank the Royals’ new owner Jack Gulati and team President Drew Bell for their vote of confidence in me with this extension,” said Coach Courville. “My wife, our children and I love being a part of the Royals’ family, and we’re excited to continue our time with the organization. I want to take this opportunity to thank the fans of the Royals, who have been so supportive during with my time with the team. It’s also important to recognize the players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching during my time in Reading. The success of any professional hockey organization really does revolve around the players, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the boys for their efforts both on and off the ice.”
Courville (39), who hails from Timmins, Ontario, but resides in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Shannon, and their three young children, is embarking on his sixth full season as the Royals’ head coach (224-140-15-19, .606 win percentage in 398 regular season games). The winningest coach in team history, Courville led the Royals to a 46-22-2-2=96 record this past season, which was good enough to capture the team’s second consecutive Eastern Conference regular season title, as well as the team’s third divisional title in the last four seasons. This year’s forty-six wins tied the team record established in 2012-13, when the Royals went on to win the first Kelly Cup championship in the history of the team.
Courville, who was originally hired by Reading as an assistant coach, took over the Royals’ head coaching job on January 6, 2009, thirty-four games into the 2008-09 season with the team’s record sitting at 9-23-2-0. The Courville-led Royals completed the remainder of that season 15-19-3-1. In the 360 games over the five full regular seasons since that time, Courville has led the Royals to a cumulative record of 209-121-12-18, which translates into a .622 win percentage. When compared to teams in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference, the 209 victories recorded over those five seasons are thirteen more than the total number of wins registered during that same time span by the next closest teams to the Royals (South Carolina and Kalamazoo, 196).
Courville’s teams have won more-than-twenty games on home ice in four of his five full seasons with the Royals, but his clubs have been particular notable for their success on the road, where the Royals have won twenty or more games for the last four straight seasons, during which the Royals’ have compiled a cumulative .635 win percentage (85-46-8-5) away from Reading’s Santander Arena.
Courville, who has coached (56) and won (32) more playoff games than any other coach in Royals’ history, has led the team on the two longest playoff runs in the organization’s tenure in the ECHL—the twenty-two games it took to capture the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship, as well as a somewhat improbable sixteen game run to the 2010 American Conference Finals.
The sixth coach in the thirteen year history of the Royals, Courville holds the team record for regular season games coached (398) and regular season games won (224), which is currently second amongst active ECHL coaches in career league victories—behind only Jason Christie of the Ontario Reign, who has registered 440 career ECHL victories in 792 games with three different teams in the league. Courville’s 224 wins places him nineteenth in ECHL history for total career victories by a head coach in the league.
Courtesy Reading Royals.