For the second time in three years, Rob DeGagne sits atop of the coaching ranks in the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
The Thunder Bay North Stars bench boss was named the junior A loop’s coach of the year on Wednesday after leading the Stars to the regular season title for a second-straight season.
DeGagne, 55, also won this trophy in 2018. In three full seasons behind the Stars bench, DeGagne has a 121-32-12 record to go with the SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup championship victory last season.
The Stars, who were 34-16-4 this season, were poised to be the No. 1 seed in this year’s playoffs before the coronavirus outbreak caused the cancellation of the entire Canadian junior A hockey playoffs.
DeGagne edged out fellow coach of the year nominees Geoff Walker of the Red Lake Miners and Wilson Housley of the Thief River Falls Norskies. Voting was done by the league’s member teams.
DeGagne becomes just the fourth person to win multiple SIJHL coach of the year honours. He joins Fort Frances’s Wayne Strachan (five), Fort William’s Todd Howarth (four) and Rod Aldoff of Minnesota (two) on this list. DeGagne also becomes the SIJHL’s nominee for the Darcy Haugan/Mark Cross Memorial Award for Canadian coach of the year.