December 20, 2012, Edmonton, AB., (ISN) – The Department of Athletics & Recreation is pleased to announce the renewal of men’s hockey coach Serge Lajoie to a new three year contract.
Lajoie is currently in this third year at NAIT and his team is atop the ACAC standings at the midway point of the season with a 13-0-1-1 record. The men’s hockey team’s record has steadily improved over the past three seasons during Serge’s tenure as head coach. Lajoie posted a 15-9-1-3 record in his first year with his team losing in the quarter-finals. Last season, the team had a 17-8-0-3 record and made it to the ACAC finals before falling to the Augustana Vikings.
Lajoie was energized at the news of being renewed.
“These are exciting times here at NAIT I am very honoured to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of growing NAIT Athletics and Ooks Hockey within the ACAC and throughout Edmonton and surrounding communities. Under the guidance and trust demonstrated by the Department of Athletics and Recreation and the unconditional support of our Alumni, our Men’s Hockey Program has grown tremendously these past three years. With the assistance of the exceptional coaching and training staff I have been fortunate to work with these past three years, we will continue to establish a tradition of excellence built around a culture where it’s a growing environment not just for a player, but also a person. We will continue to enlist character players who will want to be a part of and contribute to the strong tradition that exist here at NAIT. I look forward with great anticipation to what the next few years will hold for NAIT Men’s Hockey.
Linda Henderson, NAIT director of athletics and recreation commented on having Serge back leading the NAIT men’s hockey program.
“NAIT is thrilled to renew, men’s hockey coach Serge Lajoie for another three years. Serge in his short term at NAIT has become the face of an elite men’s hockey program both on and off the ice. His ability to recruit and retain top caliber student-athletes, has been his strength. Serge has been able to secure top prospects from the WHL, the CJHL and from the professional leagues. This recruitment has elevated the program to be the number one team in the ACAC league. Additionally, Serge has brought in full-time assistant coach, Mike Gabinet who has also helped grow the program even further. The positive team environment along with the unconditional respect given to Serge by his student-athletes, has made this program an absolute joy to watch flourish. NAIT is very fortunate to have such a class person leading this program.”
NAIT athletics manager Gregg Meropoulis is also happy with the renewal of Lajoie. “To say we are pleased with what Serge has done with our men’s hockey team would be an understatement. He has rebuilt the program with quality local athletes and now has a team that can annually challenge for conference championships while meeting or exceeding their academic goals at NAIT.”