Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston today announced Jerry Forton has been named to an assistant coaching position with the team. Forton will start in his new role on Rolston's staff immediately, joining fellow assistant coaches Joe Sacco and Teppo Numminen.
"Jerry brings a wealth of hockey knowledge to our staff," Rolston said. "His work ethic, grit and passion for Buffalo Sabres hockey makes him a perfect fit and great addition to our staff."
Forton, an 18-year collegiate coaching veteran, comes to the Sabres after serving on the coaching staffs for the men's ice hockey teams at Harvard, UMass Lowell and Niagara University. Most recently, he has been an assistant coach at Harvard for the past two seasons. In his first season with the Crimson, Forton assisted a Harvard squad that reached the ECAC championship game.
Before being hired as an assistant coach of the Crimson, Forton served as an assistant coach at UMass Lowell for two seasons. The 2009-10 season, Forton's first at Lowell, was a landmark campaign for the program. The River Hawks reached as high as No. 3 in the national polls and tied for third place in Hockey East at season's end.
During his 13-year tenure at Niagara, Forton helped transform the Purple Eagles to an NCAA Division I tournament team in 2000, '04 and '08. Niagara's 1999-2000 squad finished with a 30-8-1 record and reached the NCAA semifinals. Niagara won four conference regular-season championships and four tournament titles in Forton's time there. The Purple Eagles ranked among the nation's top 20 in six of their 11 Division I seasons and posted Division I's longest home unbeaten streak in a quarter-century with a 23-game undefeated run.
In addition to his collegiate coaching, Forton has served as a presenter, team head coach and evaluator at USA Hockey festivals, and has been a presenter at NCAA Youth Education through sports clinics.