June 10, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head men's track and field coach Fred LaPlante announced Monday (June 10) his retirement after five years as head coach of the Wolverine program. LaPlante served as head coach since the fall of 2008 and completed his 16th year as a member of the men's track and field program. LaPlante completed his 36th year of collegiate coaching experience this year.
"I have enjoyed my experience with all of University of Michigan Athletics and especially the men's track and field program," said LaPlante. "I want to thank the student-athletes and fellow coaches that I have been fortunate enough to work with as well as all those who work and have worked in the athletic department, including administrators and support staff. I'm sure the program will move forward with great success in the future, and I wish the very best for everyone."
"We appreciate all that Fred has done on behalf of the men's track and field program," said U-M sport administrator Mike DeBord. "We thank Fred for his service to Michigan Athletics and wish him well in the future."
LaPlante completed his fifth season as U-M's head coach last week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 5-8) in Eugene, Ore. The Wolverines finished in a tie for 44th at the national championship, their second-highest finish at NCAAs under LaPlante. The program's best finish in the Big Ten came during his second season when U-M placed second indoors and third outdoors (2009).
Prior to his appointment as head coach, LaPlante was the Wolverines' associate head coach for 11 seasons (1997-2008). He was named the 2008 NCAA Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year after the team captured the 2008 Big Ten Outdoor championship.
Three of LaPlante's Michigan graduates have competed in the Olympic Games, including Adam Harris (200m, Guyana, 2008), Stann Waithe (1,600m relay, Trinidad, 2008) and Jeff Porter (110m HH, USA, 2012). He also worked with USA's Jerome Singleton, a U-M student, who claimed the 100-meter title at the 2011 World Paralympic Championship.
He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant men's coach at Columbia University (1977-78). After one season at Columbia, LaPlante was hired as the head coach at San Diego State University, where he guided the women's cross country and track and field program from 1978-83 and later took the identical position at Southern California from 1983-88. After 10 successful years as a women's head coach on the West Coast, LaPlante returned to the Midwest as the men's assistant track and field coach at his alma mater, Eastern Michigan. He held the EMU position from 1988-92.
Prior to accepting the assistant position at Michigan, LaPlante took over as head coach of the Lehigh University men's and women's track programs from 1992-97.
Michigan will begin a national search to fill the position immediately.
David Ablauf (734) 763-4423