A native of Milton, Ontario, French played college hockey at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario, serving as captain for three years there and received the prestigious “212 Degrees” annual award all four seasons, presented to the athlete who demonstrates leadership, commitment and excellence on the ice.
Prior to his assistant coaching duties with Hershey, he was the head coach at Wilfrid Laurier University from 2002–04 and was head coach and director of hockey operations for the Wichita Thunder (CHL) from 2005-07. French also coached in the ECHL with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies during the 2004-05 season, walking the bench as assistant coach as the Bullies posted a 42-21-9 record.
He became an assistant with the Bears in January 2008, and was named the franchise's 23rd head coach in 2009 following the promotion of Bob Woods to Washington. In his first season, French guided the Bears to an AHL record 60 wins and the teams eleventh Calder Cup.
He lives in Hershey with his wife Kimberly. They have two children, Ellie (2) and William, who was born during the 2009 Calder Cup winning season.