Claude Noël (born October 31, 1955 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario) is a former Canadian ice hockey player and the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League. Prior to joining Winnipeg, he was head coach of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. Noël also served as an assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2007 to 2010 and 24 games as interim head coach after Ken Hitchcock was relieved of the head coaching duties.
Noël was undrafted after playing 1974–75 with the Kitchener Rangers, but he was signed as a professional with the Buffalo Norsemen of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), starting a long minor league playing career. The next season he moved up to the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Hershey Bears. He stayed with the Bears until 1981, earning one call-up to the Washington Capitals in the 1979–80 season of seven games. After Hershey he played with several teams in the International Hockey League: Toledo Goaldiggers, Kalamazoo Wings and Milwaukee Admirals before retiring in 1988.
After his professional playing career, Noël moved into coaching. He began in the East Coast Hockey League, spending one season as head coach of the Roanoke Valley Rebels then two seasons as head coach of the Dayton Bombers. Noël moved to the International Hockey League's Kalamazoo Wings (later the renamed the Michigan K-Wings), spending two seasons as assistant coach and two seasons as head coach. From there, Noël moved on to take an assistant coaching job with the Milwaukee Admirals also of the IHL and later the American Hockey League. After three seasons in Milwaukee, Noël went back to the ECHL for one season as the head coach of the Toledo Storm.
In 2003, Noël returned to the Admirals as head coach. In his first season, the Admirals won the Calder Cup. Noël was awarded the Louis A. Pieri Memorial Award as Coach of the Year. Noël spent three more seasons in Milwaukee, leading the team to winning record each season.
In 2007, Noël was hired by Ken Hitchcock and the Columbus Blue Jackets as an assistant coach. On February 3, 2010, Noël was named interim head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, after Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his coaching duties. The team went 10–8–6 under Noël, but his contract was not renewed at the end of the season.
On June 18, 2010, Noël was offered the head coaching position for the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Noël was officially introduced to the media as the new head coach of the Manitoba Moose on June 21, 2010. Coincidentally, Columbus hired Scott Arniel, Manitoba's former coach, for the head coach job in Columbus.
The return of the NHL to Winnipeg forced the Moose to relocate in June 2011. True North Sports and Entertainment, owners of both the new Winnipeg NHL team and the Moose, received permission from the Canucks to interview Noël for their vacant head coaching job. On June 24, Noël was named the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets.
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Noël was raised in Virginiatown and North Bay. He and his wife, Lynda, now live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They have two grown sons, Chris and Sheldon. Chris is a video coach for the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|CBJ||2009–10||24||10||8||—||6||(79)||5th in Central||Missed Playoffs|
- ↑ Lawless, Gary (2010-06-18). "Moose offer coaching job to Noel". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20110614163346/http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/moose/Moose-offer-coaching-job-to-Noel-96669319.html.
- ↑ Lawless, Gary (2010-06-21). "REPLAY: Moose announce new coach". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on 2010-06-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20100626042959/http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/moose/LIVE-Moose-announce-new-coach-96768209.html.
- ↑ Wiebe, Ken (2011-06-23). "Noel to be named Winnipeg NHL head coach". Winnipeg Free Press. http://www.winnipegsun.com/2011/06/23/noel-to-be-named-head-coach.
- ↑ "Noel named as Winnipeg Head Coach". Noel named as Winnipeg Head Coach. 2011-06-23. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Noel-named-as-Winnipeg-head-coach-124427079.html. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- Claude Noel's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- Claude Noel's biography at Legends of Hockey
|Head Coaches of the Columbus Blue Jackets|
| Succeeded by|
|Head Coaches of the Winnipeg Jets|
| Succeeded by|
|Head Coaches of the Manitoba Moose|
| Succeeded by|