Frank Anzalone
Career highlights
Playing career

Frank Anzalone is a retired American ice hockey coach who led the Lake Superior State Lakers to their first National Title in 1988.



Frank Anzalone kicked off a brief playing career when he laced up for New Hampshire in 1973–74, recording 13 points in 29 games. The following season saw him appear in only one match before Frank transferred, appearing for Erie CC almost two year later. Anzalone concluded his collegiate career after the 1977-78 season and made a brief appearance for the Erie Blades of the short-lived NEHL before retiring as a player.[1]


Anzalone got his first opportunity as head coach when he took over for the Waterloo Black Hawks in 1980–81, replacing Ken Yackel mid-season.[2] The next year saw him as the full-time GM/head coach for the competing USHL team, Austin Mavericks. The team finished with an even record (24-24) and after the season Anzalone move on to accept an assistant coaching position at Lake Superior State. Anzlone soon found himself in a new position when Lakers head coach Bill Selman resigned mid-season to move back to St. Louis with Anzalone chosen as his successor.[3]

Anzalone finished out his first partial season with a 5-10-1 record before he began building Lake Superior State into a decade-long powerhouse.[4] he got the Lakers to a 18-20-2 mark in 1983–84 and the following year got the Lakers to a 27-win season, their first 20+ win season in 10 years. 1985 was also the first time Lake Superior had ever made a NCAA tournament appearance. The Lakers produced two more 20-win seasons the next two years before Anzalone led them to their breakout year. The 1987–88 Lakers won only their second regular season conference title (the first in 14 years)[5] en route to the teams first ever 30-win season. The successful campaign allowed the Lakers to not only be invited to the 1988 NCAA Tournament, but receive a bye into the Quarterfinals despite losing the CCHA Title Game. After an initial setback against Merrimack, the Lakers rallied to take the series, meeting Maine in the semifinals after downing the Black bears 6-3, only St. Lawrence stood in their way of the National Title. In the end the Lakers were victorious, topping the Saints 4-3 in overtime.[6] over the next two years Anzalone led the Lakers back to the NCAA tournament, but was unable to replicate the success of '88 and after the 1989–90 season he left Sault Ste. Marie to become a head coach in the AHL.

Anzalone's first season as the coach of a professional team landed flat and the Newmarket Saints finished dead last in their conference[7] leading to his dismissal at the end of the season. The following year, now behind the bench for the Nashville Knights of the ECHL Anzalone was once again leading a cellar-dweller but wasn't given the opportunity to complete the year, being replaced by Nick Fotiu during the campaign.[8] Anzalone took a season off before returning to coach an ECHL team, this time with the Roanoke Express. Anzalone was able to do much more with the Express, helping them reach the playoffs in each of his five seasons as head coach before he was once again offered an AHL job. Frank led the 1998–99 Lowell Lock Monsters to the playoffs with a (just barely) winning record but wasn't retained after the playoffs and found himself back in the ECHL the next season. Anzalone coached the Pee Dee Pride for 83 games before being replaced in the early part of the 2000–01 season.

Not out of work for long, it was announced in the spring of 2001 that Anzalone would return to the Lakers after they had fired Scott Borek.[9] Lake Superior had fallen on hard times under Borek's five years and were looking for Anzalone to return them to their earlier success but his second stint in Sault Ste. Marie didn't bear fruit. In four seasons the Lakers never reached double-digit wins and finished last in the conference twice. Anzalone surrendered the reigns after the 2004–05 season and returned to the ECHL the following year. Anzalone coached the Johnstown Chiefs for two seasons, making the playoffs in both, before retiring following the 2007 playoffs.

Anzalone resurfaced a few years later to coach the Quad City Mallards for two years before retiring from coaching and becoming an amateur scout for the Calgary Flames. Anzalone remained in that position for two seasons before retiring from professional hockey following the 2012–13 season.

College Head Coaching record[10]Edit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Lake Superior State Lakers (CCHA) (1982-83–1989-90)
1982-83 Lake Superior State 5-10-1 5-10-1 11th
1983-84 Lake Superior State 18-20-2 12-17-1 8th CCHA Quarterfinals
1984-85 Lake Superior State 27-16-1 21-11-0 2nd NCAA Quarterfinals
1985-86 Lake Superior State 24-18-1 17-14-1 4th CCHA Consolation Game (Loss)
1986-87 Lake Superior State 22-16-2 19-11-2 3rd CCHA Quarterfinals
1987-88 Lake Superior State 33-7-6 22-4-6 1st NCAA National Champion
1988-89 Lake Superior State 29-11-6 19-7-6 2nd NCAA Regional Quarterfinals
1989-90 Lake Superior State 33-10-3 24-6-2 2nd NCAA Regional Quarterfinals
Lake Superior State: 191-108-22 139-80-19
Lake Superior State Lakers (CCHA) (2001-02–2004-05)
2001-02 Lake Superior State 8-27-2 4-22-2 12th CCHA First Round
2002-03 Lake Superior State 6-28-4 3-24-1 12th CCHA First Round
2003-04 Lake Superior State 9-20-7 7-16-5 11th CCHA First Round
2004-05 Lake Superior State 9-22-7 8-14-6 9th CCHA First Round
Lake Superior State: 32-97-20 22-76-14
Total: 223-205-42

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion


  1. "Frank Anzalone", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  2. "Frank Anzalone", Hockey DB. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  3. "Frank Anzalone", Lake Superior State Lakers. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  4. "[ Lake Superior Men's Hockey Team History]", Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  5. "2012-13 CCHA Media Guide", Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  6. "NCAA Tournament", College Hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  7. "1990-91 American Hockey League Standings", Hockey DB. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  8. "Nick Fotiu", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  9. "Anzalone returns to Laker Bench",, 2001-04-11. Retrieved on 2014-07-06. 
  10. "2013-14 Lake Superior State Lakers Media Guide 28-46", Lake Superior State Lakers. Retrieved on 2014-07-05. 

External linksEdit

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