The Kamloops Blazers have announced Serge Lajoie as the Head Coach of the hockey club.
Lajoie comes to Kamloops after spending the past three seasons as the Head Coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears men’s hockey team, culminating in a U Sports championship this past season.
“I am very excited that Serge has agreed to be the next Head Coach of the Kamloops Blazers,” commented General Manager, Matt Bardsley. “There were a lot of qualified candidates and some very good interviews, but in the end I felt really strong about Serge. He is an excellent communicator, a teacher of the game with a focus on development and has a good understanding of today’s players. These are qualities that I believe are important in a coach to help maximize the players’ development as well as the overall success of an organization.”
“Serge has had good success as a coach having won three Championships in the past six seasons as well as coaching experience with Hockey Canada at the Under-17 and Under-18 levels,” said Bardsley.
The Bonnyville, AB native played seven games with the Kamloops Blazers during the 1986-87 season before playing five years at the University of Alberta. He then spent four seasons playing in Germany before entering the coaching profession.
“On behalf of our ownership group, we’d like to welcome Serge to the Kamloops Blazers,” said Governor / Co-Owner, Tom Gaglardi. “Serge is an accomplished coach and we think he will be a great fit for our organization.”
Lajoie’s coaching experience is extensive. He spent five seasons as an Assistant Coach with the University of Alberta and five years as a Head Coach of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology men’s hockey team.
In his time with NAIT, Lajoie led his team to two Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships and two silver medals.
He has also coached and been a coach mentor at many Hockey Alberta events. He recently led Team Alberta to a gold medal at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
On top of his Hockey Alberta experience, Lajoie has worked with Hockey Canada on two occasions. He served as an Assistant Coach at the 2015 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and as an Assistant Coach at the 2016 Under-18 World Championships.
“This is an excellent opportunity for me to be involved with such a strong CHL organization,” said Lajoie. “There have been so many great players and coaches come through Kamloops. I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing this rich tradition of excellence. I’m excited to work with Matt, the staff, the entire organization and the players in creating a strong environment where each player has the opportunity to maximize their potential.”
We’d like to welcome Serge, his wife Kelly, and his two children Marc and Isabelle to the Kamloops Blazers organization. Marc was a first round pick of the Tri-City Americans at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft and Isabelle is entering Grade 12 with plans to attend the University of Alberta.