NMU coaching carousel spins ’round

NW Staff and NW Staff

The staffs of some major NMU sports-hockey, women’s basketball and swimming and diving-have seen some serious revisions over the summer.

The first of these revisions came on July 24, when head hockey coach Walt Kyle announced that Robert Facca joined his staff as an assistant coach.

Facca spent the last two seasons with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. During his time in Omaha, Facca was also the director of coaching for O.M.A.H.A. Youth Hockey. Prior to coaching in Omaha, he spent two years as the assistant coach for the Lincoln Stars (USHL).

Facca played collegiately as a defenseman for the Mavericks from 1997-1999. At UNO he received his bachelor’s degree in communications in 2000.

“We are happy to have Rob become a member of our coaching staff and we are excited about what he brings to the table,” Kyle said. “The primary function of his position is recruiting and his professional network and recruiting ability will certainly benefit the program. Rob is a guy that I have known over the last five years and have been impressed by his abilities and his commitment to the programs for which he has worked.”

Then, on August 3, women’s head basketball coach Troy Mattson announced the hiring of Kerry Janquart as his assistant women’s basketball coach.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Kerry’s qualifications and experience be part of our women’s basketball program,” said Mattson. “Her assets to not only the athletic department and the entire university will be greatly appreciated.”

From 2002-06, Janquart was the head girl’s varsity basketball coach at Ashwaubenon High School where she had an overall record of 80-19. Janquart was responsible for all aspects of the program including video breakdown, practices and scheduling. She led Ashwaubenon to the 2006 Wisconsin Division I State Championship with a record of 22-5. Janquart was named the 2006 AP and Green Bay Press-Gazette Coach of the Year. She was also named the Green Bay Press-Gazette Coach of the Year in 2004. Janquart led Ashwaubenon to two Bay Conference Championships (2004 and 2005).

She was the head girl’s varsity basketball coach at Brandon High School in Ortonville, Mich. from 1999-02. Her 2001 team went 20-2, won the OAA Division III and advanced to the district finals. Janquart’s record at Brandon was 46-20. Her overall high school record stands at 126-39.

A 1994 graduate of Kingsford High School, Janquart then went on to Central Michigan University. She played four years of basketball for the Chippewas (1994-98) where she was the team captain her senior season. After her freshman season she was named the Most Improved Player and the Defensive Player of the Year after her sophomore campaign. Janquart was a member of the academic-athletic honor roll all four years.

She has a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education/health from CMU (1999) and is currently working on a master’s in education from the University of Viterbo.

The final coaching change was announced on August 23 when Ken Godfrey, NMU athletic director, announced the hiring of Bob Laughna as the head women’s swimming and diving coach.

“We are very fortunate to have a person with Bob’s background as the new head coach of the swimming and diving program,” said Godfrey. “Bob has a passion and a vision for the program and a commitment to see the student-athletes excel academically.”

The move came just one month after former head coach Jon Wilson resigned his position amidst concern and speculation over the future of the NMU pool and swimming and diving program.

Laughna is no stranger to NMU as he has been associated with the women’s swim team for over 20 years. He has been a volunteer assistant and was the interim head coach for the 2002-03 season.

“I am very honored to have this opportunity to work with the NMU swimming and diving team,” said Laughna. “It is a privilege to be part of a community that fosters academic and athletic excellence.”

Laughna has also coached Marquette area teams the Gator Swim Club (1990-00) and the Watercats Aquatic Club (1985-90). From 1990-01, Laughna was the head coach of the men and women for the United States Deaflympic Swim Team as the team competed in Rome (2001), Denmark (1997) and Bulgaria (1993).

He was the head coach of the United States Developmental Deaf Swim Team as the team competed in Calgary (1990) and Minsk (1991). Laughna was the head coach for two International Deaf Championship Meets. His teams finished in first place at the World Cup Championship in Sweden (1992) and at the World Championship in Belgium (1995).

Laughna received his bachelor’s degree in physical education (1969) from NMU. He has two master’s degrees as one is from Eastern Michigan University in deaf education (1974) and from California State University-Northridge in administration and supervision (1985).