"I want to thank Dr. Spears, Cameron Blount and the entire search committee for having the faith in me to lead this program," LaPlante said. "For my wife and two children, this is a great community and a great place in our lives to be right now."
LaPlante, 35, is the youngest known head coach in the program's 83-year history and will be formally introduced next week at a press conference in Senatobia. He will immediately hit the recruiting trail with national signing day less than a month away.
“We’re excited to start a new era of football under coach LaPlante,” third-year athletic director Cameron Blount said. “His work ethic and past success speaks for itself. It’s a great opportunity for our kids to excel with the plan coach has for his players moving to the next level. He’s come from a winning program at Rochester and we hope that translates to success at Northwest and in the MACJC.”
LaPlante spent last season at Manvel High School as the special teams coordinator/defensive line coach and prior to that spent a year at Alvin High School where he served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Prior to a short stint in the Texas high school ranks, LaPlante spent 11 seasons at NJCAA Division III Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) from 1999-2002 and 2004-10. He spent his first two seasons as the offensive line coach and his second two as the co-offensive coordinator before being named the head coach in 2004.
LaPlante had a cumulative head coaching record of 64-16 (53-10 conference record, 10-2 playoff record) from 2004-10 and led RCTC to four state championships in six appearances, five NJCAA bowl games and the 2007 NJCAA Division III National Championship.
"It's going to be great to get back to college football and build those relationships again," LaPlante said. "I think that this is one of the premier jobs in the nation and it has a great history. As a staff we want to continue to build on that."
During his tenure at Rochester, he coached 114 All-Division players, 35 All-Region players and 18 football All-Americans. He was Region XIII Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2010.
In 2007, he received the Rochester Area Sports Commission "Coach of the Year'' award. LaPlante also served as the men’s athletic coordinator since 2008 and coordinated intramural athletics at the college.
A former All-State player from Chatfield, Minn., LaPlante played center for RCTC in 1997 and 1998, earning all-conference, all-state and all-region honors. Both years, the Yellowjackets were state champions and earned bowl games in New York and Iowa.
LaPlante earned his associate's degree from RCTC, bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He is married to the former Christie Bronte and the couple has two children, Carson (7) and Cashton (6).
LaPlante replaces Ricky Woods who compiled a 35-13 record (24-6 north division) in five seasons with two north division titles, two runner-up finishes and the school's first bowl win in 20 years.